Researchers working at the Cellular Plasticity area seek to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in diseases such as cancer, and also to determine how cells process and share information in order to organize a collective behavior.
For this, they use different approaches. The focus is on reaching a better understanding of cancer stem cell (CSC) behavior as well as transcriptional networks of critical factors involved in pluripotentiality, necessary for cancer development, in order to find alternative targets to treat tumors.
In vivo and in vitro genetic manipulation, phenotyping, stable gene transfer in cell culture systems, genome silencing with viral vectors, stem cells differentiation, cell invasion and migration assays, xenograft assay, gene expression analysis, bioinformatics, and proteomics are some of the experimental approaches used for this.
The area also covers a theoretical approach to unravel how cells process the information they receive from their environment to make individual or collective decisions, how these levels of information are organized and connected, and how they regulate each other during embryonic or adult tissue development.