The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a biologically active tissue composed of a complex mixture of macromolecules, that in addition to serving a structural function, also profoundly affects the cellular physiology of an organism! Eukaryotic cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and differentiation are examples of biological processes influenced by the composition and structural organization of surrounding extracellular matrices. The ECM not only affects the behavior of cells of the host organism, but also can serve as a substrate for the attachment and colonization of pathogenic microorganisms.
Research in the Center focuses on determining the structural organization of the ECM and the molecular details of ECM-cell interactions and signaling. We use a multidisciplinary approach using state-of-art biomedical techniques to dissect these processes. It is anticipated that knowledge gained from these studies will be used in the design of novel strategies to prevent and treat disease.
Magnus Höök, Ph.D. Center Director Program in Infectious Disease
Yi Xu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Program in Bacteria Host Interactions
Dekai Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor Program in Immune Responses in Infectious Disease