Our human body consists of 60 trillion cells (200 different kinds of cells). To keep homeostasis in body and organs, multiple cells must be well organized by recognizing extracellular cues, such as adhesion and soluble factors, correctly and converting their information to appropriate physiological responses, including proliferation, differentiation, polarity, and migration. This system is called as intracellular signal transduction, and impairment of the system often causes various human diseases, including cancers, metabolic diseases, and high blood pressure. The research aim in my lab is to understand pathogenesis of diseases (cancer and inflammatory diseases) due to the disruption of intracellular signal mechanisms and to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic tools based on the knowledge of the mechanisms.
Among many signal transduction systems we are focusing on Wnt signaling. Wnt signal studies originally started in Drosophila genetic research field, but this pathway has been shown to be conserved beyond multicellular species and to be involved in developmental processes and postnatal diseases. Cross-talk with other signaling pathways, such as TGF-β, FGF, and Hedgehog signaling, tunes Wnt signaling more finely. We are currently trying to comprehensively understand the molecular mechanisms of the regulation of Wnt signaling and the molecular pathogenesis of Wnt-related diseases. We hope that people, who are interested in our research, join to my lab and do experiments with us.