BASS Seminar - David Matus

Evolution of cell invasive behavior: insights across the Metazoa 

David Matus 
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology  Stony Brook University

The ability for cells to traverse the barriers imposed by extracellular matrix is a critical aspect of metazoan embryonic development and tissue homeostasis. Cell invasion through the basement membrane is also a hallmark of cancer metastasis. Our laboratory seeks to understand how cells adopt an invasive phenotype during development and how this process is dysregulated during disease states. We use a combination of high-resolution imaging, genome engineering and traditional genetic approaches to characterize invasive behavior. We examine invasion during development in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, and related species, where a specialized somatic cell of the developing uterus, the anchor cell, invades into the underlying vulval epithelium to initiate the uterine-vulval connection, facilitating future egg-laying. This simple, single-cell, in vivo model for cell invasion, has been a powerful system to identify the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways that regulate invasion. Specifically, we are interested in trying to understand the relationship between several pro-invasive transcription factors and downstream effectors that mediate key steps in the invasive cascade, including cell cycle arrest, cytoskeletal polarization and the expression of pro-invasive genes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). More broadly, we are interested in trying to understand the relationship between proliferation and invasive behavior, and have extended our observations into other model systems, including zebrafish posterior growth and cancer cell extravasation.

Pizza and drinks will be provided.
Sponsored by: EPACC and Biology Department

Monday, September 30 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

McCreary Hall 115 Bowen Auditorium

Biology Department
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