The extracellular matrix (ECM) has fascinated me ever since I was a student, newly introduced to the concept that interactions between cells build and sustain multi-cellular tissues. Unlike the cells of plants or fungi, animal cells have no cell wall: molecules secreted by animal cells into the extracellular space can bind directly to plasma membrane receptors to influence gene expression and cell behaviour. Continue reading Guest editing an issue of ‘Essays in Biochemistry’ on the Extracellular Matrix
By Valentina Gifford, University of Oxford
In March, I attended the The Dynamic Cell III meeting in Manchester, where, with great excitement, I presented my first poster. The meeting started with the Students/Postdocs symposium, where we got the chance to warm up and have a quick taste of the amazing research that was about to follow. Then, a perfect mix of more experienced and early-career scientists set the context for an inspiring scientific discussion, that brought together a wide variety of topics, all focusing on understanding cell functions, such as motility and cell-cell interactions. The quality of the presentations was outstanding and everybody was able to share his enthusiasm.