Lourdes Estrada
Last active: 4/10/2017


My experiences in the past 12 years as Scientific and Educational Officer for the Center for Cancer Systems Biology and as Assistant Professor in the Education Track in the Department of Cancer Biology have provided me the opportunity to accumulate skills in effective management of large multidisciplinary scientific teams and develop new education and outreach strategies to train a new generation of scientists and disseminate scientific discoveries. The focus of my research interests lies in the application of systems biology approaches to the study of cancer progression and treatment. Cancer as a disease is thought to involve a number of deregulated cellular traits including altered rates of cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration, adhesion, and metabolism. Genomic alterations and deregulation of signaling pathways have been shown to be mechanisms underlying altered cancer cellular states. In addition, the tumor microenvironment has been shown to play a key role in cancer progression. However, even with all the accumulated knowledge we are still challenged with treatment failures, recurrences, and high mortality rates. Thus, the complex nature of cancer makes it a perfect fit for the utilization of mathematical and computational models. The emphasis of my work, in close collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of scientists, is to populate quantitative/theoretical models with datasets from in vitro or in vivo experimental systems, or from clinical material. This can only be accomplished in a team science environment composed of cell and molecular biologists, mathematicians, engineers, bio-informaticians and computational biologists.

Importantly, key to the success of implementing these strategies to gain insights into effectively battling cancer is the true integration of scientists from diverse fields of expertise. Thus, a main focus of my work is to design novel strategies to reach integration through Education, Training and Outreach. I have developed a passion for education because of the opportunities afforded to me since arriving at Vanderbilt University in 2004. The need to bridge the existing gap across disciplines in clinical medicine and biomedical research has inspired me to explore innovative educational strategies. It is our responsibility as members of the Faculty to be innovators in order to train the next generation of leaders that will contribute the key discoveries in human health.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Co-expression network analysis identifies Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (SYK) as a candidate oncogenic driver in a subset of small-cell lung cancer. Udyavar AR, Hoeksema MD, Clark JE, Zou Y, Tang Z, Li Z, Li M, Chen H, Statnikov A, Shyr Y, Liebler DC, Field J, Eisenberg R, Estrada L, Massion PP, Quaranta V (2013) BMC Syst Biol : S1
    › Primary publication · 24564859 (PubMed) · PMC4029366 (PubMed Central)
  2. Effects of intracellular organelles on the apparent diffusion coefficient of water molecules in cultured human embryonic kidney cells. Colvin DC, Jourquin J, Xu J, Does MD, Estrada L, Gore JC (2011) Magn Reson Med 65(3): 796-801
    › Primary publication · 21337411 (PubMed) · PMC3285501 (PubMed Central)
  3. Linking changes in epithelial morphogenesis to cancer mutations using computational modeling. Rejniak KA, Wang SE, Bryce NS, Chang H, Parvin B, Jourquin J, Estrada L, Gray JW, Arteaga CL, Weaver AM, Quaranta V, Anderson AR (2010) PLoS Comput Biol 6(8)
    › Primary publication · 20865159 (PubMed) · PMC2928778 (PubMed Central)
  4. DNA copy number aberrations in small-cell lung cancer reveal activation of the focal adhesion pathway. Ocak S, Yamashita H, Udyavar AR, Miller AN, Gonzalez AL, Zou Y, Jiang A, Yi Y, Shyr Y, Estrada L, Quaranta V, Massion PP (2010) Oncogene 29(48): 6331-42
    › Primary publication · 20802517 (PubMed) · PMC4637980 (PubMed Central)
  5. Microenvironmental independence associated with tumor progression. Anderson AR, Hassanein M, Branch KM, Lu J, Lobdell NA, Maier J, Basanta D, Weidow B, Narasanna A, Arteaga CL, Reynolds AB, Quaranta V, Estrada L, Weaver AM (2009) Cancer Res 69(22): 8797-806
    › Primary publication · 19887618 (PubMed) · PMC2783510 (PubMed Central)
  6. Nest expansion assay: a cancer systems biology approach to in vitro invasion measurements. Kam Y, Karperien A, Weidow B, Estrada L, Anderson AR, Quaranta V (2009) BMC Res Notes : 130
    › Primary publication · 19594934 (PubMed) · PMC2716356 (PubMed Central)
  7. A novel circular invasion assay mimics in vivo invasive behavior of cancer cell lines and distinguishes single-cell motility in vitro. Kam Y, Guess C, Estrada L, Weidow B, Quaranta V (2008) BMC Cancer : 198
    › Primary publication · 18625060 (PubMed) · PMC2491634 (PubMed Central)
  8. Dependence of invadopodia function on collagen fiber spacing and cross-linking: computational modeling and experimental evidence. Enderling H, Alexander NR, Clark ES, Branch KM, Estrada L, Crooke C, Jourquin J, Lobdell N, Zaman MH, Guelcher SA, Anderson AR, Weaver AM (2008) Biophys J 95(5): 2203-18
    › Primary publication · 18515372 (PubMed) · PMC2517013 (PubMed Central)
  9. Model-controlled hydrodynamic focusing to generate multiple overlapping gradients of surface-immobilized proteins in microfluidic devices. Georgescu W, Jourquin J, Estrada L, Anderson AR, Quaranta V, Wikswo JP (2008) Lab Chip 8(2): 238-44
    › Primary publication · 18231661 (PubMed) · PMC4357342 (PubMed Central)
  10. Fgd1, the Cdc42 GEF responsible for Faciogenital Dysplasia, directly interacts with cortactin and mAbp1 to modulate cell shape. Hou P, Estrada L, Kinley AW, Parsons JT, Vojtek AB, Gorski JL (2003) Hum Mol Genet 12(16): 1981-93
    › Primary publication · 12913069 (PubMed)
  11. The Caenorhabditis elegans homolog of FGD1, the human Cdc42 GEF gene responsible for faciogenital dysplasia, is critical for excretory cell morphogenesis. Gao J, Estrada L, Cho S, Ellis RE, Gorski JL (2001) Hum Mol Genet 10(26): 3049-62
    › Primary publication · 11751687 (PubMed)
  12. Fgd1, the Cdc42 guanine nucleotide exchange factor responsible for faciogenital dysplasia, is localized to the subcortical actin cytoskeleton and Golgi membrane. Estrada L, Caron E, Gorski JL (2001) Hum Mol Genet 10(5): 485-95
    › Primary publication · 11181572 (PubMed)
  13. Skeletal-specific expression of Fgd1 during bone formation and skeletal defects in faciogenital dysplasia (FGDY; Aarskog syndrome). Gorski JL, Estrada L, Hu C, Liu Z (2000) Dev Dyn 218(4): 573-86
    › Primary publication · 10906777 (PubMed)
  14. Tissue- and gender-specific expression of N-acetyltransferase 2 (Nat2*) during development of the outbred mouse strain CD-1. Estrada L, Kanelakis KC, Levy GN, Weber WW (2000) Drug Metab Dispos 28(2): 139-46
    › Primary publication · 10640510 (PubMed)
  15. Cellular mechanisms of intestine regeneration in the sea cucumber, Holothuria glaberrima Selenka (Holothuroidea:Echinodermata). García-Arrarás JE, Estrada-Rodgers L, Santiago R, Torres II, Díaz-Miranda L, Torres-Avillán I (1998) J Exp Zool 281(4): 288-304
    › Primary publication · 9658592 (PubMed)
  16. Characterization of a hormone response element in the mouse N-acetyltransferase 2 (Nat2*) promoter. Estrada-Rodgers L, Levy GN, Weber WW (1998) Gene Expr 7(1): 13-24
    › Primary publication · 9572394 (PubMed) · PMC6151942 (PubMed Central)
  17. Substrate selectivity of mouse N-acetyltransferases 1, 2, and 3 expressed in COS-1 cells. Estrada-Rodgers L, Levy GN, Weber WW (1998) Drug Metab Dispos 26(5): 502-5
    › Primary publication · 9571233 (PubMed)
  18. Effects of heredity on response to drugs and environmental chemicals: construction of rodent models. Levy GN, Rodgers L, Weber WW (1996) Chem Res Toxicol 9(8): 1215-24
    › Primary publication · 8951222 (PubMed)