Research focus

Multicellular organisms can exist only thanks to the signaling pathways, the vast networks of biochemical cascades intertwined with every aspect of cellular life. The major signaling pathways like Notch, Wnt, FGF, JAK/STAT, and TGFb act as key regulators of embryonic development, and when deregulated, drivers of genetic disorders and cancer.

Unlike the other pathways, Notch signaling occurs only after direct cell-cell contact, and lacks the amplification steps, making it highly sensitive to perturbations. Almost two decades passed from the discovery of the potential signaling role of the intracellular domains of Notch ligands (LICDs), yet, their function remains elusive.

We aim to functionally test the “Non-canonical” signaling potential of the LICDs in mammals. We will take advantage of existing, rare genetic disorders causing mutations in key motifs of the LICDs (NLS, PDZ), recapitulate the pathology in vivo using the mouse model and investigate the “Non-canonical” aspect of Notch ligand signaling and its relation to Notch/WNT signaling cross-talks. The focus of our research holds the potential for the future development of therapeutics for Notch driven disease.

We are located at the Dept. of Cellular Biology at Charles University, Prague.

Charles University is the oldest and biggest university in the Czech Republic. University provides education to nearly 50 000 students (including 7500 PhD students). Being the 5th most desired university in the Erasmus+ programme makes it the European hub of education.

The Dept. of Cellular Biology is formed by 11 research groups, focusing at developmental biology, transcriptional regulation and cell motility, protein structure and synthesis, immunology, and microbial genomics. The resulting mixture provides a diverse, scientifically stimulating environment with a good methodological know-how background for excellent collaborative research.