Our laboratory is interested in how mammalian cells touch, feel and work together to form multi-cellular tissues and organs. Cell-to-cell interactions are mediated by cell adhesion molecules and the cytoskeleton, and carefully regulated. Since abnormal cell adhesion is common in diseases like cancer, understanding of cell adhesion should lead to novel treatments. If you are interested in our interdisciplinary research and would like to help, contact Dr. Soichiro Yamada (BME profile) for available positions. Lab news are posted in our Facebook page.
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Using biophysical and cell biological approaches, we are trying to tease out the mechanisms involved in the regulation of cell adhesion. One approach is to analyze cell interactions in a physiologically relevant three-dimensional matrix using a live-cell confocal microscope system (see our movies on Youtube). In addition, we are analyzing the regulation of cell adhesion strength using microfabricated force sensor and atomic force microscopy. Currently, our focus is on how cancer cells interact with each other to regulate their migration through surrounding extracellular matrix and neighboring cells. Our unique experimental approaches provide new perspectives on how proteins assemble to generate physical and dynamic cell adhesions essential for morphogenesis and metastasis.
If you are interested in our on-going projects, come see us at annual ASCB or BMES meetings, or join us for weekly lab meetings (in GBSF). You can also find lab activities in our Facebook page. For more detailed descriptions, check out our publications.