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Welcome to the Page-McCaw Laboratory


Why does a well-behaved epithelial cell – quiescent and non-invasive – change into a carcinoma cell, the most common type of cancer?  All epithelial cells harbor a hidden set of behaviors needed by normal cells to heal wounds.  When epithelial tissues are wounded, the normally mild-mannered epithelial cells migrate and proliferate.  These are the behaviors of cancer cells, and carcinomas arise when wound-healing behaviors get locked on.

Our lab is working to understand —

  • How do cells know there is a wound nearby, and how do they determine their response?
  • How do cells repair the basement membrane, the matrix that supports and insulates epithelial cells?
  • How do extracellular signals travel across tissues?

We are part of the Department. of Cell and Developmental Biology, the Program in Developmental Biology, the Center for Matrix Biology, and the Program in Cancer Biology.

We are proud to have our work funded by NIGMS, NIAMS, NICHD, the American Heart Association, and the March of Dimes.


IGP and QCB graduate students – we are open for rotations!

We are always interested in postdoctoral applications from talented scientists.


Watch one of our very first movies of calcium signals around wounds.  The wound is made by a laser at 0 seconds and the calcium (white signal, GCaMP3M) comes up immediately!