The Skourides Lab @ UCY

Cell and Developmental Biology

The goal of our research group is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in generating the three dimensional organization of tissues and the overall process by which the basic body plan of vertebrate embryos is established. We are particularly interested in how mechanical forces are generated sensed and integrated in order to generate the embryonic architecture. Our work focuses on the study of a group of proteins called focal adhesion proteins which have critical roles in embryonic development but at the same time are involved in disease. Our work has revealed that these proteins in addition to the roles they play in cell migration cell invasion and metastasis have functions which are completely unrelated to cell extracellular matrix interactions. These include work revealing  a novel role in the anchoring of basal bodies to the actin cytoskeleton and in the formation of a mechanosensory complex at the cortex of mitotic cells guiding cell responses to extremal mechanical stimuli. The study of gastrulation and morphogenetic movements has always demanded cutting edge imaging and the pace of discovery in the field has been set by advances in imaging technologies. The complexity of morphogenetic movements together with our inability to image them in vivo has forced researchers to study each movement isolated from the others. Yet if we are to truly comprehend the way morphogenetic movements give rise to form we need to begin the process of integrating what we know back to the embryo and view gastrulation as a unified process rather than individual components. Our laboratory is developing new imaging methods and technologies which enable the study of morphogenesis at the organismal, cellular and molecular level in vivo.

Department of Biological Sciences
University Campus
Office Number: Building: ΘΕΕ 02
Phone Number: 22892895


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