Increasingly, researchers are realizing that our understanding of extracellular vesicles and their roles in intercellular communication throughout the body in states of health and disease is rudimentary.
Little is known about their spatial biodistribution, their release and subsequent uptake, and the local and systemic effects that they have on the biology and physiology of the organism. Extracellular vesicles are known to play significant roles in carcinogenesis and cancer, in neuroscience, in stem cell biology and function, and in the response of the body to stress. This working group brings together an interdisciplinary group of faculty that are experts in microscopic and macro-scale biomedical imaging, in cancer and neuroscience and molecular physiology, and in chemistry to investigate the dynamic roles and function of extracellular vesicles. Collectively, this working group seeks to use advanced imaging and bioanalytical technologies to elucidate the composition, characteristics, biodistribution, and effects of extracellular vesicles, and explore their presence and properties as new biomarkers for disease and changing states of health.