The Aragona group aims to understand how neighbouring cells coordinate their decisions to build tissues with specialized structure and function. In particular, they want to investigate how tissue architecture is maintained and how mechanical cues affect gene transcription, stem cells dynamics and fate decisions.
The questions the group wants to address include how tissues remodel their cellular division and cell-fate patterns, and how the cell-cell and cell-matrix connections are adjusted to coordinate biological function and collectively react to external stress with the activation of specific transcription factor programs. They are investigating these biological questions in tissues that are naturally subjected to different mechanical perturbations such as the skin and the urinary tract. Understanding these fundamental principles will improve our basic understanding and have a high impact in the development of new regenerative medicine tools.