Primary cilia are visually striking highly organized microtubule-based structures transiently assembled at the cell surface (seen in this image). At this location, the cell's antenna acts as a signaling center, governing basic cellular processes during development and in adult tissues.
This image shows cells that are transitioning from an epithelial (red) to a mesenchymal (ciliated, green) state. I recently identified that the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition that is activated during cancer progression, which drives metastasis, promotes primary ciliogenesis in human mammary cells. The goal of my research is to understand the role of the primary cilium in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition during cancer progression.