Our article has been selected as Editor’s Pick!

(Left) Live imaging of Vangl2Lp postnatal day 3 precision-cut lung slice to assess epithelial cell migration. (Middle and right) Striking anomalies in focal adhesions (green) and F-actin (magenta) in mutant epithelial cells (right) compared to wild type cells (middle).

Our recent article ‘The Planar Polarity Component VANGL2 Is a Key Regulator of Mechanosignalingpublished in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology has been selected to be featured in the collection “Editor’s Pick 2021: Highlights in Cell Adhesion and Migration”.


This article highlights a previously unknown function of the core planar cell polarity (PCP) protein, VANGL2, in control of mechanosignalling and we propose this underlies the key role of the PCP pathway in tissue morphogenesis and repair.

We employed a combination of live imaging of ex vivo 3D precision-cut lung slices, in vitro 2D cell culture and functional assays to show that disrupted epithelial cell migration in Vangl2Lp (Looptail) mutant mice was caused by underlying aberrant cell mechanics. Our findings were further consolidated by the use of sophisticated elastic micropillar arrays that demonstrated abnormal cellular traction force in epithelial cells from Looptail mutant mice (collaboration with Dr Armando del Río Hernández, ICL Department of Bioengineering).

Click the link below for more details about this study:

The full article can be found here :


New Chapter for Róisín

After 4 years in the lab, Róisín is off to begin a new role training to be a Clinical Trials manager at Medpace. Róisín came to the lab as a Master’s student and was subsequently awarded a PhD to study the role of retinoic acid in lung repair. After completing her PhD in early 2021, Róisín stayed on for a year as a post-doc. During her time in the lab Róisín worked to establish a novel model of lung injury and repair (Kim-Mongey et al. 2021 Biomaterials) which she then used to investigate the role of retinoic acid. In addition, Róisín has shown an important role for dietary vitamin A intake on lung function through large-scale population studies (collaboration with Dr Cosetta Minelli).

We wish Róisín every success in her new role!