Josana Rodriguez Sanchez

  • See a full publication list here.
  • See Josana's lab website here.

A PhD studentship is available.

Most animal cells are polarized; they show structural asymmetries essential to their function. By breaking symmetry cells are able to generate diversity, migrate, and organise themselves into more complex structures such as tissues and organs. Dysregulation of polarity leads to developmental disorders, including cancer. Tumour progression is correlated with disruption of epithelial polarity and randomized orientation of the cell division plane caused by misplacement of the mitotic spindle. In addition, recent experiments show that disruption of asymmetric stem cell division could be a hallmark of cancer. These observations show the importance of cell polarity for the correct development of an organism and the tight regulation required between cell polarity mechanisms and the cytoskeleton. Our aim is to identify and characterize new regulators of these processes and to understand their role in a whole organism context during morphogenetic movements and tissue organisation. As a step towards this goal, we have generated a comprehensive polarity genetic network identifying important cell polarity signalling pathways. Currently we are exploiting this network to specifically find regulators of polarity induction in the asymmetric first cell division of the nematode C. elegans; a well-established model where key polarity mechanisms have been found. Ultimately, we want to extend our findings to human disease research such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and ageing. 

 Lab members
  • Alicia Gascon Gubieda
  • Jack Martin
  • Iolo Squires
Former Lab members
  • Camilla Ascanelli
  • Shaden Melhen
  • Ra'Eesah Shaikh