Project Summary for The MBRS Program, CSUN

Dr. Steven Oppenheimer
(818) 677-3336

Long term objectives:

To improve our understanding of the role of the cell surface and cell surface molecules in cancer and embryonic development

In over 100 published papers, abstracts and books, with over 200 Northridge student co-authors, we have shown:
1) that specific sugar-containing molecules are involved in adhesive interactions in cancer cells and embryo cells:
2) that sugar-containing molecules play key roles in specific events that occur during embryonic development:
3) that charge-charge interactions may be important in controlling various adhesive interactions: and
4) that many new assays could be developed that help us identify new cell surface markers, help us quantify a variety of adhesive interactions and help us learn more about distributions of specific receptors on cell surfaces



This work has received national acclaim, when the P.I., Steve Oppenheimer, was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the nation's most prestigious scientific honors, based on his work on cell surfaces in cancer and development.

This work is leading towards a better understanding of what specific molecules and bonding mechanisms account for cellular interactions in cancer and development.

This work may help lead to new approaches to inhibit the spread of cancer and to block specific pathogens from binding to cells.  The work may also lead to the identification of new cell surface markers that may be able to detect differences in cells with differing metastic potential.  This could have prognostic value in the evaluation of the degree of malignancy of a particular patient's cancer.

These studies will help us learn more about molecular mechanisms of adhesive interactions in cancer and development and may offer new possibilities in the development of clinically useful agents.


Sea urchin culture                            Fertilization assays
Derivatized bead binding analyses        Sperm motility assays
Photomicroscopy                                Haptem inhibition assays
Confocal microscopy

Experimental Methods:

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Report Writing:

Journal format