Molecular Cell Biology
Research in the Department of Molecular Cell Biology focuses on cell adhesion and directional migration in the context of inflammatory processes within the blood vessel wall. More specifically, we are interested in the molecular mechanisms that drive the migration of activated white blood cells (monocytes, T-cells) across the vascular endothelium (a process known as transendothelial migration).
We study the control of cell polarity and chemotaxis in leukocytes, as well as adhesion-induced signalling in endothelial cells. Moreover, we are interested in the role of vesicle transport, protein internalization and -ubiquitiylation in the regulation of endothelial cell function.
Key molecules that we focus on involve cell-surface adhesion molecules such as integrins and their ligands, small GTPases and actin-binding adapter proteins, and the cellular prion protein, which plays a novel and unexpected role in transendothelial migration.
The department comprises three major research lines and harbors the Central Facility, which concentrates FACS analysis, imaging, sequencing and mass spectrometry.
|RhoGTPase signaling in cell adhesion and migration (group leader: Peter Hordijk)|
|Role of guanine-nucleotide exchange factor in leukocyte transendothelial migration (group leader: Jaap van Buul)|
|Endothelial cell signaling at the plasma membrane and at endosomes (group leader: Mar Fernandez-Borja)|
|Adhesion dynamics in endothelial cells (group leader: Stephan Huveneers)|
Within our department, undergraduate students (University master students and HLO trainees) are trained in protein biochemistry, confocal laser scanning microscopy, cell culture, generation and expression of fluorescent proteins and live cell imaging. We have a preference for students working with us for at least 6-9 months. Moreover, we advise students to do their first internship within the university.
For more information and an overview of the current internships visit the student projects page.