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.
The V Foundation: V Scholar Award
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.
Cocktails & Chromosomes
August 8, 2019
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.
Stand Up For Suzanne donates $25k for breast cancer research
January 9, 2019
Stand Up For Suzanne donates funds to support the breast cancer research of Assistant Professor Camila dos Santos.
Pershing Square Sohn prize to Camila dos Santos
May 22, 2018
Assistant Professor Camila dos Santos, Ph.D., has been awarded the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research.
Crucial stem cell protein could be new target for stopping breast cancer
June 1, 2017
Cancer cells, have the ability to multiply indefinitely. Now, new results show that blocking epigenetic factor BPTF may be key in turning it off.
A protein that stem cells require could be a target in killing breast cancer cells
June 1, 2017
Cancer cells, like stem cells, have the ability to multiply indefinitely but epigenetic factor BPTF may be a shared weakness.
MWCABC donates $65,000 to breast cancer research at CSHL
December 14, 2016
The Manhasset Women's Coalition Against Breast Cancer presented a check to support Dr. Camila dos Santos' breast cancer research.
The 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Double Helix Medal Dinner video
December 2, 2016
Dr. Bruce Stillman, President, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, discusses the history of the Lab and current research in biology and genomics.