The Williamson Group
Group leader: Dr Magali Williamson
We are interested in the role of the cell membrane receptors plexins and their ligands, semaphorins, in cell biology and cancer. Semaphorins are secreted or membrane bound factors that act as chemotactic cues for cell movement and axon guidance. Plexins are transmembrane receptors for semaphorins. Plexins activate the oncogenes ErbB2 and c-Met and regulate several small GTPases resulting in changes to the actin cytoskeleton; consequently they have a role in cell motility and invasion. Semaphorins and plexins have been implicated in many cancers, affecting tumour growth, metastasis and angiogenesis. Our research is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms by which plexins regulate cell movement and cell signalling and so contribute to tumour progression and metastasis, and to develop therapeutic strategies to block this process.
The Williamson group pages are currently under construction and more information will follow shortly.