We are interested in how cells move and how this movement, or migration, is controlled. Cell migration is an essential part of many normal biological processes and also many diseases. For example, during an infection cells of the immune system move towards the site of infection and during wound healing cells need to move to the site of injury in order to repair the damage. Cell migration is also important in the spread of cancer, a process called metastasis. Metastasis is responsible for the majority of cancer deaths and there are currently no effective treatments to stop this process. Understanding how cancer cells move is essential for developing new treatments.
This project will investigate how cell migration and invasion is controlled. It will examine in detail how cell signalling pathways regulate processes such as cytoskeleton remodelling, cell adhesion and extracellular matrix degradation that play key roles in regulating cell migration. It will also look at how cells can switch between different modes of migration depending on their environment. This will involve a wide variety of cutting edge cell biology techniques including confocal microscopy and live cell imaging, miRNA expression, siRNA knockdown etc. It will also provide training in standard techniques such as tissue culture, transfections, western immunoblotting and immunofluorescence.
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