The research of our group is focused on studying the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) an example of epithelial cell plasticity. This transition is a fundamental biological program activated during several steps of normal embryonic morphogenesis and, in its deregulated form, driving cancer progression.
We aim to understand the molecular mechanisms and to generate quantitative, dynamic network models of the EMT on the single-cell level to define the state of EMT and its dependence on cell-to-cell communication in the microenvironment. To achieve this we use a single-cell mass spectrometric approach, called mass cytometry. In its current form this technology allows accurate quantification in a multiplexed manner of up to 100 molecules and phenotypes on the single-cell level with high-throughput. The quantitative and correlative nature of mass cytometry data makes this technique ideal for bioinformatics approaches to signaling network structure reconstruction and is be coupled to system-wide measurements of transcripts, proteins and phosphoproteome etc. changes during EMT.
It is our long term vision to develop the experimental and computational approaches to generate spatially resolved, comprehensive system-wide transcellular signaling network models describing the intricate interplay of cells in a tissue or tumor.
The projects in our group can be split into three areas.
Methods development to achieve system-wide, spatially resolved measurements on the single cell level by mass cytometry.
Analysis of dynamic EMT (signaling) networks in model systems and tumor samples and its dependence on the cellular genotype.
Computational analysis to model 3D communication of single cells (done in collaboration with computational groups).
|1999-2001:||Vordiplom (Biochemistry), University of Bayreuth|
|2001-2004:||Diplom (Biochemistry), ETH Zurich|
|2004-2008:||Ph.D. Systems Biology (ETH Zurich, Lab of Ruedi Aebersold)|
|2008-2009:||Postdoc (ETH Zurich, Lab of Ruedi Aebersold)|
|2009-2012:||Postdoc (Stanford University, Lab of Garry P. Nolan)|