"Metabolism, cancer and immunity" group
Our team is interested in the comprehension of intracellular and extracellular stress pathways following an “inside-outside” communication that must be deciphered in its molecular details. Organellar stress pathways (that operate inside cells) give rise to cellular manifestations (apoptosis, autophagy, senescence, necroptosis etc.) that in fine cause alterations in the extracellular milieu (outside cells) via the active or passive release of metabolites and macromolecules that act on receptors on neighboring cells and cause homeostatic or pathogenic reactions via inflammatory/immune or neuroendocrine pathways. By deciphering the rules that determine the “inside-outside” communication of stress, we attempt to understand the pathophysiology of aging and aging-related morbidities, placing special emphasis on cancer and its treatment with chemotherapy or immunotherapy. We attempt to achieve these goals by using metabolomics and cell biological high-throughput technology within a continuum between fundamental, pharmacological translational and clinical research.
The major aims of our team are:
- To decipher the major disease-relevant pathways of intracellular stress management (apoptosis, autophagy, senescence, necroptosis etc.) in the context of cell death or its avoidance.
- To understand the relationship between intracellular stress pathways and extracellular signaling with regard to metabolism, inflammatory/immune regulation and organismal homeostasis.
- To apply our knowledge on the fundamental cell biology/pathophysiology of cellular stress management to major age-related diseases, as well as the most frequent monogenetic human diseases, namely, cystic fibrosis and Wilson disease.
- To develop evidence-based strategies how changes in nutrition (reduction in caloric uptake, caloric restriction mimetics, interventions on the microbiome) can reduce obesity with its co-morbidities, as well as age-associated pathologies including cancer.
- To apply our fundamental research discoveries to the comprehension, prevention or treatment of oncogenesis and cancer progression following a continuum to translational and clinical research.
- To explore the mode of action of effective anticancer drugs with the scope to improve and broaden their utilization, laying emphasis on the idea that successful antineoplastics induce antitumor immune responses that are modulated by host genetic factors as well as by life style factors.