Cell migration is fundamental to diverse aspects of the development and life of multicellular organisms. Angiogenesis, the immune system and neuritogenesis, to name but a few, all rely on the correct movement of cells to their destination in tissues in time and space.
During the progression of tumours, cells that were previously stationary re-acquire the ability to move through the adjacent tissue, a process known as cancer cell invasion. Cancer cell invasion often eventually leads to tumour cells entering the bloodstream (extravasation) and finally the colonisation of secondary tissues where metastatic secondary lesions of the primary tumour are formed.
We are aiming to understand the mechanisms that enable cells to move in a three dimensional tissue environment in health and especially during tumour progression. Work in our lab is currently funded by the the Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and MRC.