UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Our Research

Our research focuses on the differentiation and function of epithelia and endothelia and how their deregulation and malfunction leads to acute and chronic diseases. An important function of epithelia and endothelia is to form barriers that separate tissue compartments. Epithelial and endothelial cells adhere to each other via a set of specialised intercellular junctions. Tight junctions are the intercellular junction that directly contributes to the barrier function by sealing the space between neighbouring cells. Intercellular junctions do not only mediate cell-cell adhesion but also signal to the cell interior to guide cell proliferation, differentiation and behaviour. We are interested in

  • how epithelia and endothelia differentiate and polarize
  • how junctions assemble
  • the molecular mechanisms by which they transmit signals to the cell interior
  • how they contribute to the coordination of multicellular processes
  • how their deregulation leads to tissue malfunction and disease

Localization of apical determinants Dbl3 and ezrin by super-resolution microscopy…

Epithelial polarization and differentiation

Attenuation of tumour cell migration by the junctional protein MarvelD3…

Structure and function of tight junctions

Redistribution of F-actin and active myosin from junctions to focal adhesions in ZO-1 depleted endothelial cells…

Endothelial cell-cell adhesion