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Active Mechanisms of Cell Selection: From Cell Competition to Cell Fitness

Objective

The molecular mechanisms that mediate cell competition, cell fitness and cell selection is gaining interest. With innovative approaches, molecules and ground-breaking hypothesis, this field of research can help understand several biological processes such as development, cancer and tissue degeneration. The project has 3 clear and ambitious objectives: 1. We propose to identify all the key genes mediating cell competition and their molecular mechanisms. In order to reach this objective we will use data from two whole genome screens in Drosophila where we have identified 7 key genes. By the end of this CoG grant, we should have no big gaps in our knowledge of how slow dividing cells are recognised and eliminated in Drosophila. 2. In addition, we will explore how general the cell competition pathways are and how they can impact biomedical research, with a focus in cancer and tissue degeneration. The interest in cancer is based on experiments in Drosophila and mice where we and others have found that an active process of cell selection determines tumour growth. Preliminary results suggest that the pathways identified do not only play important roles in the elimination of slow dividing cells, but also during cancer initiation and progression. 3. We will further explore the role of cell competition in neuronal selection, specially during neurodegeneration, development of the retina and adult brain regeneration in Drosophila. This proposal is of an interdisciplinary nature because it takes a basic cellular mechanism (the genetic pathways that select cells within tissues) and crosses boundaries between different fields of research: development, cancer, regeneration and tissue degeneration. In this ERC CoG proposal, we are committed to continue our efforts from basic science to biomedical approaches. The phenomena of cell competition and its participating genes have the potential to discover novel biomarkers and therapeutic strategies against cancer and tissue degeneration.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-CoG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-CG - ERC Consolidator Grants

Host institution

FUNDACAO D. ANNA SOMMER CHAMPALIMAUD E DR. CARLOS MONTEZ CHAMPALIMAUD
Address
Avenida Brasilia, Centro De Investigacao Da Fundacao Champalimaud
1400-038 Lisboa
Portugal
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 614 637
Principal investigator
Eduardo Moreno Lampaya (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Joaquim Cabral Teixeira (Dr.)

Beneficiaries (2)

FUNDACAO D. ANNA SOMMER CHAMPALIMAUD E DR. CARLOS MONTEZ CHAMPALIMAUD
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 1 614 637
Address
Avenida Brasilia, Centro De Investigacao Da Fundacao Champalimaud
1400-038 Lisboa
Activity type
Research Organisations
Principal investigator
Eduardo Moreno Lampaya (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Joaquim Cabral Teixeira (Dr.)
UNIVERSITAET BERN

Participation ended

Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 353 425
Address
Hochschulstrasse 6
3012 Bern
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Maddalena Tognola (Ms.)