John Condeelis

Professor and Co-Chair, Anatomy and Structural Biology
Co-Director, Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center
Director, Program in Motility and Invasion
Albert Einstein College Of Medicine Of Yeshiva University
Forchheimer 641
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461

Research Interests

The recent convergence of technologies for expression profiling and multiphoton-based intravital imaging has revealed a gene expression profile that is involved in the survival, chemotaxis and invasion of tumor cells inside living tumors. These genes fall into well defined pathways and are coordinately regulated in invasive tumor cells. This pattern is called the Invasion Signature. The Invasion Signature indicates that invasive tumor cells are a population that is neither proliferating nor apoptotic but highly chemotactic to macrophage-secreted EGF. The Invasion Signature provides several new biomarkers for predicting prognosis which are in clinical trials. The invasive tumor cells also make more numerous invadopods in vivo. It appears that the Invasion Signature contains the wiring diagrams for the signaling and assembly pathways of invadopods. Confirming this hypothesis and understanding how these pathways regulate invadopod function is a major focus of my laboratory.

Philippe Chavrier

Institut Curie
26, rue d’Ulm
75248 Paris Cedex 05

Research Interests

Common feature of invasive tumor cells is to migrate across tissue boundaries and to form invadopodia, which represent highly dynamic structures endowed with the capacity to degrade and remodel the matrix. Matrix degradation by invadopodia requires the activity of matrix proteases including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Our main objectives are to unravel general cellular and molecular mechanisms leading to invadopodia formation and delivery of MMPs to these structures and to develop cell imaging strategies to follow invadopodia in action. On going projects concern the role of the vesicle tethering exocyst complex in the delivery of specific invadopodial components including MT1-MMP, a membrane-type MMP essential for invadopodial matrix proteolysis and invasion. Another aspect is the implication of the vesicle fusion machinery, i.e. the SNARE machinery, in the formation of active invadopodia. We are also investigating the role of actin cytoskeleton components, diaphanous related formins and IQGAP1, in the mechanism of invadopodia formation.