Dr. Ana Soto is a Professor of Immunology at Tufts University who by training is a physician with a deep interest in science. She began working in labs while attending the university and eventually discovered an interest in how estrogens and hormones control the proliferation of cells in the breast, uterus, etc. Dr. Soto is currently conducting research on a new theory of cell proliferation and carcinogenesis at The Ana Soto – Carlos Sonenshein Lab at Tufts University.
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Dr. Soto and Schonnenschein have been focusing their research on the origins of carcinogenesis known as the Tissue Organization Field Theory (TOFT). While their studies involve the biomechanics of morphogenesis, SMT theorizes that mutations are central to the development of cancer. The TOFT theory suggests that the mutations are an epiphenomenon.
According to Dr. Soto, all cells will proliferate and produce tissue architecture that is normal. When cancer is introduced by some mechanism, there is an alteration in the organization of cells and a tumor may begin to grow. One of the goals of their research is to identify the mechanism that results in the alteration of the organization of cells and the subsequent development of cancer tissues. Several influences may be at play in this situation: biochemical factors and their receptors; biochemical communication; the proliferation of mechanical forces, bioelectricity, and the formation of an extracelluar matrix.
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