Recent and ongoing research projects In my lab we have two lines of research currently going on:
Molecular signalling pathways involved in the epidermal homeostasis. Therefore we are interested in proliferation, adhesion, differentiation, motility, apoptosis and autophagy within the stratified epithelia, by using keratinocytes cell lines, organotypic skin reconstructs and normal epidermis as a model. Our aim is to identify the key molecular signalling pathways that fine tune the homeostatic process in the epidermal epithelia and eventually monitor how they could be deregulated in the specific types of cutaneous malignancies.
In melanoma we are particular interested in the intrinsic resistance of melanocytes to apoptosis during malignant progression. Our research goal is to understand the physiological roles of the key players involved in apoptosis in melanocytes and melanoma cells, with a special regards to the p53 family members signalling pathways somehow altered in melanomas. At this regard we are also exploring the role of cancer stem cells in melanoma.