Research Overview

My research is focused on understanding how extracellular cues regulate cell behaviour in development and cancer.  We apply high throughput proteomic and functional genomic tools to map dynamic protein interactions and define their role in cell behaviour in cultured cells, organoids and mouse models.  Of particular interest is how intersections between Wnt, TGFB and the Hippo pathways alters biological responses and contributes to disease.

 Proximity Ligation Assay in TGF-treated NRK49F fibroblasts showing YAP-Smad nuclear complexes (red) in cells co-stained with phalloidin (green) and DAPI (blue).

Proximity Ligation Assay in TGF-treated NRK49F fibroblasts showing YAP-Smad nuclear complexes (red) in cells co-stained with phalloidin (green) and DAPI (blue).

 A 3D rendered image of trophoblast stem cells stained for YAP (red), phalloidin (green) and DAPI (blue). 

A 3D rendered image of trophoblast stem cells stained for YAP (red), phalloidin (green) and DAPI (blue). 

 A 3D rendering of an intestinal organoid stained for E-Cadherin (red) and Propidium Iodide (cyan). 

A 3D rendering of an intestinal organoid stained for E-Cadherin (red) and Propidium Iodide (cyan). 

  Specific areas of investigation include:

Maintenance and induction of stem cell pluripotency

Control of stem cell fate, regeneration and cancer initiation in the intestinal crypt

The tumor microenvironment in cancer progression

Molecular basis of human bladder cancer

Analysis of single cell behavior in tissue morphogenesis and regeneration 

Tissue Fibrosis

Epithelial cell plasticity in development and cancer

 
 E5.5 mouse Hex-GFP embryo stained for Hex (GFP, green), Phospho-Yap (red) and DAPI (blue).

E5.5 mouse Hex-GFP embryo stained for Hex (GFP, green), Phospho-Yap (red) and DAPI (blue).

 Bright field image of a mouse intestinal organoid.

Bright field image of a mouse intestinal organoid.