Adhésion molecules and the process of cell migration
Vascular and leukocyte adhesion molecules and the process of cell migration are the major topics of our laboratory. We particularly study cell migration, the homeostatic recirculation of lymphocytes and the migration of leukocytes to inflammatory tissue and tumors. Of special biological interest is the characterization of vascular endothelial cells with which leukocytes interact. On the molecular level we analyze the involvement of adhesion molecules, cytokines and growth factors in the migration process and in cell survival. We recently concentrated our effort on Vascular Junctional Adhesion Molecules (JAMs) that contribute to form the vascular barrier and matricellular molecules that form the vascular microenvironment. All these molecules and processes are also involved in tumor angiogenesis and our laboratory developed blocking reagents that interfere with tumor angiogenesis and tumor growth.