Skip to main content

Analysis of adhesion complex dynamics in living cells


The dynamic nature of cell-extracellular matrix interaction is critical to many homeostatic processes, such as cell migration, invasion, proliferation and survival. Deregulation results in pathologies such as aberrant developmental patterning, immune disorders and cancer.

This project aims to investigate the dynamics of cellular adhesions to the extracellular matrix in both healthy and diseased states, focusing predominantly on a functionally critical class of adhesion molecule, the integrins, as well as an array of associated regulatory proteins. Central to these studies will be the application of cutting-edge cellular and molecular imaging techniques capable of providing novel insight into the spatiotemporal control of integrin-based adhesion and signalling. Thus this project will address fundamental questions regarding the roles of integrin dynamics in the context of cell migration, as well as characterising specific players in these dynamic pathways.

Aims associated with this project include:
1) assessment of the role of p21-activated kinase 4 (PAK4) in focal complex function;
2) elucidation of focal complex dynamics during cell migration; and
3) characterisation of integrin transport pathways and their roles in integrin dynamics and cellular motility.

This project will generate beneficial outcomes in two areas. The first will be a greater understanding of how adhesion protein dynamics contribute to cell adhesion, cell motility and related physiological and pathophysiological processes. The second will arise from the implementation of dynamic imaging and data analysis techniques which will be of substantial assistance to researchers in the fields of cell and developmental biology. The strong background of the applicant in dynamic fluorescence imaging, protein transport analysis and adhesion protein characterization, combined with the existing research interests and competencies of the host laboratory, will generate important progress in each of these areas.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call


Nobels Väg 5