All internal organs, including the gastrointestinal, renal, pulmonary and vascular system, are built of tubes. I am working on unicellular tubulogenesis and intracellular lumen morphogenesis. The single C. elegans excretory cell expands into an H-shaped canal system that serves as the kidney of the animal, providing an excellent model for the analysis of intracellular lumenal membrane expansion and tube extension.
I am using genetic, molecular, biochemical, cell biology, imaging and electron microscopic approaches in my studies. My current focus is how the cytoskeletal linker ERM-1/Ezrin-Radixin-Moesin determines single-cell tube development. My research will have implications for our understanding of diseases of internal organs, vasculogenesis and tumor angiogenesis.