The CoE’s aim is to understand the dialogue between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM), a process that is necessary for the formation and normal function of organs and blood vessels, as well as in cancers and other diseases. The CoE is also interested to explore the functions of stem cells in the processes of renewal and differentiation.
The ECM is an extremely diverse and active agent. Besides working as a support structure it also works as a messenger and as a regulator of disease processes. The ECM provides behavior cues to cells, and creates a physical barrier to the progression of cancer.
The aim is to conduct research that will help identify mechanisms of malignant cell transformation and ultimately lead to new
diagnostic methods and treatments. One of the visions is to be able to grow replacement organs such as kidneys from individual cells.
The new understanding gained from the studies will lead to improved diagnostics and treatments during the next few years.