My research focuses on understanding the role of membrane organisation, namely that exerted by galectins, in dendritic cell function, particularly in the initiation of anti-tumour immune responses against melanoma. Galectins are a family of carbohydrate-binding lectins that crosslink molecules by their sugar moieties, forming a dynamic signalling and adhesion network at the plasma membrane of (immune) cells. We have discovered that galectins are essential in controlling DC function, including antigen presentation, migration or T cell activation.
The aim of my research is to unravel the molecular mechanisms that underlie galectin function and signalling in dendritic cells in relation to the development of melanoma lesions.
Laia Querol Cano obtained her Master degree in 2008 at Imperial College London (United Kingdom) and her PhD in Molecular Oncology in 2013 also at Imperial College London. Afterwards, she moved to the Netherlands where she pursued a short-term postdoctoral position at Leiden University prior to joining the Tumour Immunology Department in the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS) in 2015. In 2019, she obtained a tenure-track position to start her own research line focused on investigating galectin function in dendritic cells in relation to the development of cancer.