The Lawlor Labs research is focused on investigating how hijacking of normal developmental processes contributes to the initiation and progression of Ewing sarcoma. The central hypothesis underlying the research is that pediatric cancers depend on dysregulation of genes and pathways that are integral to normal embryonic development. The overall goal is to discover and define differences between normal and cancer cell biology in order to enable development of targeted therapeutics. To achieve this the lab uses diverse cell and animal models, and collaborates actively with experts in developmental biology, epigenetics, metabolism, and drug development. Currently, the lab is focused on elucidating the contributions of HOXD13 and menin to Ewing sarcoma pathogenesis, and on the role of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and cell plasticity as mediators of metastasis. Dr. Lawlor’s lab has been continuously funded by grants from the NIH/NCI, AACR-Stand Up to Cancer, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, the V Foundation, as well as numerous smaller funding agencies.