Among the changes that occur during pregnancy, those affecting the breasts have been found to subsequently modify breast cancer risk. My laboratory investigates how the signals present during pregnancy permanently alter the way gene expression is controlled and how these changes affect normal and malignant mammary development.
Camila dos Santos’ laboratory studies the epigenetic regulation of normal and malignant mammary gland development, with an emphasis on the alterations brought by pregnancy. Significant changes mark the pre- and post-pubescence mammary developmental stages, but those associated with pregnancy have the greatest effect on cellular function, tissue reorganization, and breast cancer susceptibility. Her group has recently found that mammary glands react differently to a second pregnancy than they do to the first one, with associated changes in DNA methylation. These findings suggested that pregnancy changes the state of mammary cells, and these may permanently alter how they react to the next pregnancy. In addition, the dos Santos lab is exploring how the pregnancy-induced epigenetic changes might influence cell transformation and the risk of breast cancer. This research utilizes genomic and computational approaches to define the pre and post-pregnancy mammary epigenome. An additional objective of the dos Santos’ laboratory is to use functional genomics to discover novel transcriptional regulators that modulate mammary stem cell self-renewal, lineage specification, and cell transformation. The long-term objective of Camila’s group is to improve the notion of the mammary epigenome during normal development and use this information to gain insight into new preventive and curative strategies to target breast cancer.
CSHL organoid facility: Cancer custodians
July 2, 2021
To beat our worst enemy, we must first let it grow.
Cataloging breast cells to find cancer origins
May 14, 2021
CSHL scientists created a profile of normal breast tissue to pinpoint which cells might start down the path to cancer.
LIVE at the Lab with Camila dos Santos: Breast Cancer Research
December 21, 2020
Assistant Professor Camila dos Santos describes how her lab uses organoid models to study how pregnancy permanently alters gene expression.
LIVE At the Lab: Pregnancy and breast cancer
December 21, 2020
CSHL Assistant Professor Camila dos Santos discusses the biology of how pregnancy reduces breast cancer risk.
One experiment: Organoids as living laboratories
October 30, 2020
These tiny balls of cells are revolutionizing the research and treatment of pancreas and other types of cancers.
Pregnancy reprograms breast cells, reducing cancer risk
May 27, 2020
CSHL researchers discovered that pregnancy reprograms breast cells, reducing the risk of breast cancer in women under 25.
A home like no other, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
November 7, 2019
Hear why our campus, our community, and our collaborative nature makes us a place that so many scientists call "home."
Understanding pregnancy’s effects on breast cancer risk
August 13, 2019
CSHL researchers authored a review in the journal Cell covering the landscape of breast cancer research.
Discussing breast cancer with Camila dos Santos—A Cocktails and Chromosomes talk
July 17, 2019
Women who have their 1st child before age 25 are less likely to develop breast cancer later in life. Why? Dr dos Santos discusses finding the answer.
Event: Cocktails & Chromosomes
July 8, 2019
Join us for the next edition of Cocktails & Chromosomes, featuring CSHL scientist Dr. Camila dos Santos, Ph.D., an assistant professor who will discuss how having children changes women.