Welcome to the Lécuyer Lab
Cells represent the basic building blocks of complex organisms and come in many different shapes and sizes. This diversity allows different cells to perform specialized functions and complex activities, such as migrating, dividing, absorbing nutrients and reacting to signals from the environment. The loss of normal cell organization is a classic defining feature of cancer cells. Our laboratory is studying how cellular architecture and functions are influenced by the subcellular localization of messenger RNA transcripts, molecules encoded in the genome that transmit the genetic information or blueprint for protein production in the cell. The team combines the use of human cultured cells with an experimentally powerful model organism, the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, to further understand evolutionarily conserved RNA localization pathways. By combining the versatility of Drosophila genetics with high-resolution molecular imaging technologies and functional genomic strategies, the Lécuyer lab aims to dissect the molecular mechanisms that control RNA trafficking and their effect on cell organization. Insights gained from studying simple model organisms like the fruit fly have made major contributions to our understanding of many essential cellular processes and how they are disrupted in pathological states, such as cancer.