Expression of GPR56 (green) leads to the formation of a fishnet
structure of TG2 (red) in melanoma. Blue: nuclei.
The Xu laboratory investigates the mechanism of metastasis, the spread of cancer cells from their original loci to other parts of the body. It is the major cause of death in cancer patients, but exactly how it occurs is not clear. Metastasis involves multiple levels of interactions between migrating tumor cells and their microenvironment. Understanding these interactions will greatly enhance our knowledge on metastasis and lead to a better treatment of cancer. A major focus of the laboratory is thus to dissect these interactions by studying the functions of cell surface molecules during tumor spread. Knockout mice, mouse cancer models, as well as various biochemical and bioinformatics tools are used in the laboratory.
Current Research Projects