1. To further characterize the mechanism of entosis by examining how cell-in-cell structures form. This includes the regulation of adherens junction formation, membrane and cytoskeletal dynamics during the initiation of entosis, the mechanism by which one cell becomes completely enclosed inside of another, and the role of integrin-dependent adhesion in negative regulation of the process.
2. To examine the cell death mechanism of internalized cells. This includes understanding what triggers an internalized cell to die, the mechanisms that execute the cell death process, and the contributions of inner vs. outer cells to cell death.
3. To examine the role of cell-in-cell formation in tumorigenesis. This involves studies to inhibit or promote entosis in order to examine its effect on tumor growth and progression in vitro and in vivo.