Developmental and Cancer Cell Biology
We use genetic and biochemical approaches to decipher molecular mechanisms that coordinate growth and differentiation of cells and tissues during normal development and in cancer. A current focus is on live imaging of proprotein convertases and their roles in regulating TGFβ-related activities and other specific signaling pathways in tumour cells and in their microenvironment. We also study the regulation of mRNA translation and cell metabolism by the RNA-binding protein Bicc1 and specific interacting factors. Mutations in Bicc1 randomize visceral left-right asymmetry and instigate cystic growth in the kidney and pancreas. Identifying upstream regulators and relevant downstream targets of Bicc1 will shed light on the etiology of polycystic kidney diseases.