Cell-extracellular matrix interactions in stem cell niches and vascular structures
Strategic research project of the University of Oulu
Focus institute: Biocenter Oulu
Faculty: Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (FBMM)
The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides structural support and guidance cues for cells, and is centrally involved in dynamic processes in organogenesis, organ function and diseases. We investigate the structural and regulatory roles of collagens, a key group of ECM proteins in supporting homeostasis and function of cells and tissues. We also study the mechanisms whereby vascular endothelial cells (EC) interact with the ECM, and aim for better understanding of physiological angiogenesis and pathological mechanisms responsible for vascular anomalies, focusing on the Tie/angiopoietin signalling system. The project is part of the Finnish Centre of Excellence Programme funded by the Academy of Finland (Centre of Excellence Grant 2012 - 2017, 251314).