David Reynolds

2020 UExB Student | Pathak Lab

David Reynolds is a rising senior currently studying mechanical engineering at Iowa State University. He is an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Amit Pathak’s lab, utilizing computational models to investigate cell migration both under noninvasive and invasive states. After earning his bachelor’s degree, David plans to pursue a PhD in bioengineering.


Research Abstract:

Modeling fibroblast-led collective invasion of carcinoma cells with differing mechanically mediated factors.

David Reynolds, Sabrian Shafi

Prevention of cancer cell dissemination and secondary tumor formation is a major goal of cancer therapy as a majority of cancer deaths are related to metastasis. Metastasis is initiated by the collective invasion of carcinoma cells into local epithelial tissue. Carcinoma cells are able to migrate away from the initial site by following the mechanically-mediated signalings produced by the stromal fibroblasts. Computational modeling offers a simplistic way of isolating the key factors responsible for cancer cell invasion, which is not a possibility in vivo and in vitro studies. By utilizing CompuCell3D software, our model reveals that force-applied fibroblasts with low adhesion energies between fibroblasts and cancer cells demonstrate characteristics of cancer cell invasion as described in the literature. In the future, protease-mediated pathways can also be integrated into the model to better represent the biological phenomena. Using computational models to reproduce cancer cell migration can identify key modulators of its early  metastasis.