Lisa Arendt, DVM, PhD

Position title: Associate Professor, Comparative Biosciences


Phone: 608-890-2265

Veterinary Medicine Building
2015 Linden Dr
Office: 4354A

Lab Website
Arendt Lab
Lisa Arendt

Research Interests

Over two thirds of the population of the United States is considered to be overweight or obese.  Obesity has been shown to contribute to the increased risk for multiple different types of cancer, including postmenopausal breast cancer.  Regardless of menopausal status, obese women who develop breast cancer have tumors that are larger at the time of diagnosis and increased risk of metastasis.  Breast tissue is a depot for adipose tissue, and inflammatory changes that take place in adipose tissue under conditions of obesity may have an impact on risk for breast tumor formation and cancer progression to metastasis.  Our lab has three main focus areas:

How does inflammation within breast adipose tissue contribute to breast cancer risk?  We are interested in understanding how the inflammatory microenvironment of obese adipose tissue within the breast potentially increases the risk of breast cancer through selection of breast epithelial cell populations, enhanced angiogenesis, and tissue fibrosis.

How does the microenvironment of the obese breast lead to formation of aggressive tumors?  We are focused on understanding how obesity promotes the development of tumors which have higher proliferation rates, resistance to chemotherapy, and increased rates of metastasis.

Why does menopause alter the risk for obesity in breast cancer?  Development of the breast is critically dependent upon ovarian hormones, and estrogen levels have been shown to impact breast cancer risk.  We are interested in examining why obesity alters the risk of breast cancer particularly in aging women.

Selected Publications

  1. Hillers LE, D’Amato JV, Chamberlin T, Paderta G, Arendt LM. Obesity-activated adipose-derived stromal cells promote breast cancer growth and invasion.  Neoplasia 2018; 20(11): 1161-1174.
  2. Chamberlin T, D’Amato JV, Arendt LM.  Obesity reversibly depletes the basal cell population and enhances mammary epithelial cell estrogen receptor alpha expression and progenitor activity.  Breast Cancer Research 2018; 19: 128.
  3. Sokol ES, Miller DH, Arendt LM, Gupta PB. Growth of human breast tissues from patient cells in 3D hydrogel scaffolds.  Breast Cancer Research 2016; 18:19.
  4. Arendt LM.  Modeling breast tumor development with a humanized mouse model. Methods in Molecular Biology 2016; 1458: 247-259.
  5. Arendt LM and Kuperwasser C.  Working stiff: How obesity boosts cancer risk.  Science Translational Medicine 2015; 7:301fs34.