Vesicle trafficking is a process by which the cell transports membrane and proteins between subcellular organelles and to and from the plasma membrane. It is vital for cellular function and survival. We are interested in how this process regulates insulin secretion and action under physiological conditions and in pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Gain- and loss-of-function mouse models and cell and molecular biology techniques are employed in our studies.
We are also interested in the regulation of epithelial morphogenesis and its deregulation in cancer. Recently we identified a novel PTEN pathway that controls stem cell differentiation and epithelial polarization. We are examining how this pathway is perturbed in cancer with a focus on the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cells.