Paul Lu has recently joined the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Unit. He is also jointly appointed by the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester. Based in the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, his group will focus on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of stromal role in normal development and cancer of the breast.
Our research focuses on three major themes: 1). What are the roles of stromal microenvironment in regulating adult stem cells? This is an important question because adult stem cells are essential for normal remodelling and physiology of the mammary gland and are targeted in certain breast cancers. 2). How is epithelial polarity maintained in the breast? Tissue polarity is a key feature of organ integrity and loss of epithelial polarity is often observed in human breast cancer. Here we focus on the role of a group of cell polarity genes in morphogenesis, stem cell biology and tumorigenesis. 3). What role does receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signalling play in mammary gland epithelium-stroma interactions? And how is it regulated? RTK signalling is one of the five major signalling pathways in metazoan and is upregulated in most breast cancers.