Work in my laboratory centres on the cell biology of proteoglycans, which are highly glycosylated molecules found in the extracellular matrix and at the surface of proliferating and migrating connective tissue cells.
We have shown that particular proteoglycans are involved in the cell biology of wound healing, and aberrant wound healing processes that occur in chronic inflammatory lung diseases, atherosclerosis and the tissue reactions to certain cancers.
A major focus of our group is the cell biology of the aggregating proteoglycan versican, which influences cell adhesion, migration and biosynthetic activity in skeletal development and in the wound healing processes outlined above; and the proteoglycan aggrecan, which is a major structural element of cartilage and whose degradation is central to arthritis. Our studies include determining the control of degradtion of these proteoglycans in the pericellular matrix, which occurs through the activation and activity of matrix metalloproteinases and other proteinases.
Our studies include determining the control of synthesis and degradation of proteoglycans at the cell surface, in the pericellular matrix and in structural and interstitial matrices, and the biological functions of proteoglycans in health and in a number of inflammatory diseases.