Cytoskeleton & Cell Plasticity

In cancer research, the identification and validation of novel biomarkers – diagnostic, prognostic or predictive (helping to foresee therapeutic response) – represents a major goal. Deregulation of the cellular cytoskeleton (actin and microtubule filaments), either in interphase or in mitosis, is frequently associated with disease including cancer initiation and progression. Our research is focused on the role of cytoskeleton-associated proteins in the development of aneuploidy and in the activation of invasion/metastasis, two major hallmarks of cancer. Moreover, we are also interested in the emerging crosstalk between key actin-binding proteins and the mitotic microtubules, and in the impact of this crosstalk on cell migration/metastasis as well as on the maintenance of genome integrity. A deeper understanding of these mechanisms might lead to the establishment of selected cytoskeleton-associated proteins as novel tumour biomarkers. The team makes use of molecular cell biology, biochemical, confocal microscopy and mathematical modelling approaches

Main research topics

  1. Identification of molecular markers for breast carcinoma progression
  2. Analysis of the contribution of the actin cytoskeleton and its associated proteins to cell plasticity in physio-pathological situations
  3. Investigation of the functional role of spindle microtubule associated proteins in mitosis and in interphase