Research Group "Translational Medicine" (Inaam Nakchbandi)
The connective tissue holds together the cells of an organism and gives the organs their structure. One of its components is the protein fibronectin. However, this protein does not only serve as an adhesive, it also plays an important role in embryogenesis and wound healing. Inaam Nakchbandi and her Research Group “Translational Medicine” investigate the functions of fibronectin in different tissues and its role in diseases such as cancer and liver fibrosis. The scientists could show that the latter becomes more pronounced in the absence of fibronectin. Therefore, the scientists suspect that fibronectin mitigates the effect of a molecule responsible for the development of this disease. During cancer development fibronectin plays an important role in tumor dissemination. If fibronectin is missing, the cancer spreads more slowly because the formation of blood vessels necessary for the supply with nutrients is also impaired. Fibronectin additionally affects the behavior of cell anchors (integrins) which are important for cell migration and cell division.