Most of the scientific efforts around the evolutionarily conserved proteins known as caspases have been aimed at understanding their role as regulators of cell death. However, a recent body of evidence suggests their involvement in alternative cellular functions such as cell proliferation, cell differentiation and cell migration. Furthermore deregulated caspase activity in these non-lethal situations could lead to the development of multiple diseases including cancer.
The main goal of my research group is to offer a comprehensive characterisation of caspase activity/regulation in normal and transformed cells without apparent signs of cell death. To answer this fundamental biological question, we combine a wide variety of experimental approaches with the powerful repertoire of genetic tools available in fruit flies. We are convinced that such combination could be instrumental not only to uncover key aspects of caspase biology and different biological processes, but also therapeutic avenues for specific diseases.