Research Groups

Sandra Citi Laboratory

The goal of the Citi laboratory is to understand at the molecular level how the apical junctional complex of vertebrate epithelial cells controls epithelial function, morphogenesis, differentiation and proliferation.

Epithelial tissues play a fundamental role in the separation of different body compartments, and in the absorption and secretion functions of major organs (kidney, liver, lung, intestine, exocrine and endocrine glands, etc). The vast majority of cancers arises within epithelial organs, and invasion and metastasis correlate with disruption or loss of cell-cell junctions. Epithelia are also the first target of pathogens. Endothelial cells play a fundamental role in cardiovascular physiology.

We are interested in clarifying how specific protein components of epithelial tight and adherens junctions regulate signaling molecules and contribute to different aspects of epithelial cell and tissue function (barrier, adhesion, pathogen interaction, etc.).   

We use a combination of biochemical, cellular and in vivo approaches, including the generation and characterization of knockout mice, which help us to frame the significance of our discoveries within the context of a whole vertebrate organism.

Please visit our website Citi Lab to learn more about our activities.