Madelon Maurice Group
Mechanisms of cell-cell communication and tissue self-organization
The overall aim of the Maurice lab is to gain a fundamental understanding of the dual nature of signals that guide homeostatic tissue renewal and cancer cell growth. In healthy tissue renewal, a handful of signalling pathways supports the maintenance of small populations of adult stem cells. Deregulation of these pathways due to mutations is strongly linked to cancer development. Our main focus is to investigate how patient-derived mutations alter protein activity to promote the initiation and progression of cancer growth. With the generated insights we aim to uncover patient-specific disease mechanisms and develop improved cancer-targeting strategies.
We combine advanced methods of gene editing, proteomics, biochemistry, biophysics and imaging with organoid-based models to: 1) uncover the role of receptor trafficking, posttranslational modifications and protein interactions in the regulation of cell-cell communication and complex tissue homeostasis, and 2) investigate how patient-derived cancer mutations impact signal relay in cancer cells and 3) how the underlying molecular events affect 3D tumor tissue organization.
Our fundamental research is integrated with ongoing efforts to translate our findings into applications. We recently invented a novel strategy for targeted membrane protein degradation using bispecific antibodies (SureTACs). With the recently launched startup biotech Laigo Bio, we aim to develop SureTACs for clinical application in cancer treatment (Laigobio.com).