Professor of Cell Biology
Head, Cell Motility and Cytoskeleton Section
Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics
Kings College London
New Hunts House, Guys Campus
London SE1 1UL
My research is directed towards understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating cell polarisation and chemotactic locomotion with particular emphasis on immune cells of the myeloid lineage. Dendritic cells and macrophages from patients lacking Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome protein (WASP) fail to show normal chemotactic migration and lack specialised adhesive structures termed podosomes. WASP and its partner WIP (WASP-Interacting Protein) were found to regulate Arp2/3 mediated actin filament assembly and podosome formation.
Our current work is concentrating upon a detailed study of podosome assembly and turnover in normal cells in the hope that this will provide an explanation of their role in directed cell migration. This work is given extra impetus by the finding that podosome-like organelles are also found in many invasive cancer cells.