Dr. Mouneimne is an Assistant Professor of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. As the Associate Director of the Tissue Acquisition and Cellular Molecular Shared Resource, he brings an interdisciplinary approach that includes: in vitro structural and biochemical analyses; functional analyses using tissue culture models, 3D organotypic cultures, and in vivo mouse models; and bioinformatic and histological analyses of patient samples. His expertise in imaging greatly enhances the ability of the membership to use this technology.
Dr. Mouneimne's expertise is in two areas: analytical cell biology, focused on quantitative cellular microscopy, and cancer biology, focused on invasion and metastasis of breast cancer.
Dr. Mouneimne's research concentrates on understanding how the organization of the actin cytoskeleton regulates cellular behavior and how aberrations in this organization lead to grave consequences, such as cancer cell invasion and ultimately tumor metastasis. He investigates estrogen receptor (ER) regulation of invasion of ER positive breast cancer by focusing on hormonal regulation of the actin cytoskeletal architecture. These studies explore the unexpected alterations in the actin architecture caused by suppressing ER transcriptional activity and how these alterations promote cellular changes, such as hyperactive protrusions, that promote invasion. His background greatly influences the approach he takes to investigate the invasive behavior of breast tumors and distinguishes his laboratory by being adherent to a highly quantitative methodology that will allow them to identify even subtle changes in cellular behavior. Such analytical approaches are crucial when studying invasion of cancer cells since even subtle changes might have significant effects on disease progression – which is something that we found to be true in many cancer models in vivo and in vitro.
Dr. Mouneimne's current position as a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) allows him to develop a translational research program through the collaborative interactions with resident basic and clinical researchers.