Academy of Finland Professor
johanna.ivaska [at] utu.fi
Description of the Research
We are interested in understanding how integrins contribute to cancer cell migration, invasion, tumour-stroma crosstalk and other processes that promote cancer progression. In the last 10 years, we have made substantial progress in this area with a focus on discovering novel regulators of integrin activity and integrin traffic, and by delineating the mechanisms by which cancer cells sense their microenvironment. We are now using our expertise in these areas to understand how integrin-mediated adhesions may help to maintain stem cell pluripotency, a concept that is currently underappreciated. This is an exciting new area of research for our lab and one which we hope will lead to exciting discoveries.
Information on our ongoing projects can be found on our website. Briefly, these include identification of new regulators of integrin activity and endo/exocytic traffic, investigations into integrin mechanosensing, and the role of filopodia in cancer cell invasion, and initiatives to unravel the link between hPSC adhesions and pluripotency.
Our projects receive funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 615258 and from the Academy of Finland, the Cancer Society of Finland, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation and EMBO. We are also part of the Translational Cancer Biology Centre of Excellence in Finland.