AAA postdoctoral fellowship awarded to Caleb Bailey

Caleb Bailey, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate in Paul Kulesa’s lab, has been selected as an American Association of Anatomists Scholar. He will receive a $20,000 fellowship to explore new approaches at the forefront of melanoma metastasis and a travel allowance to present his findings at the association’s annual meeting.

Melanoma, a very aggressive tumor that spreads readily, derives from a highly invasive embryonic cell population known as the neural crest.

The award will allow Bailey to build on his earlier findings that melanoma is intrinsically predisposed to aggressive, metastatic behavior resulting from its ancestral relationship to the neural crest. Specifically, he seeks to understand the cellular sensors that enable migrating melanoma cells to respond to the molecular waymarkers that guide neural crest cells along their migratory routes and to follow in their tracks.

Identifying the mechanisms associated with guidance receptor function may point to specific processes during metastasis that could be successfully interrupted with new therapeutics.