PhD Student - Molecular and Cellular Oncology lab (UGent) – Inflammation Research Center (IRC) – Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology
Principal investigator: prof. Geert Berx (PhD)
The epithelial to mesenchymal transition, or EMT, is a switch from an epithelial to a mesenchymal phenotype. Recent research shows that there are many intermediate stages in this process. Even more, cells maintain their plasticity and freely shift between these different intermediate states. This phenomenon was termed epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity or EMP. EMP is now being pushed forward as an in vivo causal factor for cancer cell invasion and metastasis. Additionally, EMP promotes cancer stemness and therapy resistance.
By combining single cell transcriptomics, spatial tissue analysis, and functional biology, I aim to uncover novel pathways and targets which drive EMP in colorectal cancer. A better understanding of these pathways might reveal new molecular targets and could eventually lead to novel therapies.
- ‘Partial EMT takes the lead in cancer metastasis’, Developmental Cell, 2021. (PMID: 34875220)