Dr. Diaz seeks to understand the mechanism by which cancer cells invade and metastasize. In particular, I am interested in the role of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in cancer cell invasion and metastasis. We have recently shown that ROS are implicated in the formation of invadopodia, cellular structures related to invasive capacity that are found in human cancer cells. The NADP(H) oxidase (Nox) system and the Tks5 protein, a known invadopodia component, are implicated in the generation of ROS at invadopodia which in turn participate in the turnover of the structures. In the future we will explore the mechanism by which ROS regulate invadopodia formation, the signals that modulate ROS generation in cancer cells, and will set up a cell-based screening assay to identify novel Nox inhibitors that could exhibit anti-metastatic activity.
Begona joined the lab in October 2007.