Frontiers of Science: Prof. Alpha Yap


October 26, 2023    
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Frontiers of Science: Prof. Alpha Yap

October 26th at 12:00
On-site event
Presidentti auditorium
Autumn 2023 program

Prof. Alpha Yap, University of Queensland, Australia
Mechanical communication and epithelial homeostasis
Host: Guillaume Jacquemet (

Coffee and sandwich served at 11:45, first come first served!


Six students and early-career postdocs are welcome to have a lunch in restaurant Mauno and discuss with Prof. Yap after the seminar. This is a great possibility to learn hosting skills in friendly environment and create connections for future. Every student is welcome to join, in spite of which research group they belong to. BioCity Turku will offer the lunch.

If you got interested, please send an email to


Professor Yap’s group seek to understand the cellular basis of cadherin recognition, and how this controls cell movement and organisation. They study the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which cadherin cell adhesion molecules mediate cell-cell recognition and their current work builds on two recent discoveries made by the lab. Firstly, we found that E-cadherin, the principal cadherin molecule found in epithelial tissues, functions as an adhesion-activated cell signaling receptor. In particular, upon adhesion E-cadherin activates signaling via the small GTPase, Rac, and the lipid kinase PI3-kinase. Finally, an important potential target of this signaling receptor is the Arp2/3 protein complex, a protein machine that nucleates assembly of actin filaments. We were the first to discover that E-cadherin interacts with the Arp2/3 complex to mark sites for actin assembly within cells. We are now exploring the general hypothesis that cadherin-activated signaling controls the subcellular localization and activity of Arp2/3 to modulate cell shape changes and motility in response to productive cell-cell recognition.


Selected publications

Bonfim-Melo, Alexis, Noordstra, Ivar, Gupta, Shafali, Chan, Amy H., Jones, Mathew J.K., Schroder, Kate and Yap, Alpha S. (2022). Rapid lamellipodial responses by neighbor cells drive epithelial sealing in response to pyroptotic cell death. Cell Reports, 38 (5) 110316, 110316. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110316

Katsuno-Kambe, Hiroko, Teo, Jessica L., Ju, Robert J., Hudson, James, Stehbens, Samantha J. and Yap, Alpha S. (2021). Collagen polarization promotes epithelial elongation by stimulating locoregional cell proliferation. eLife, 10 e67915. doi: 10.7554/elife.67915

Teo, Jessica L., Gomez, Guillermo A., Weeratunga, … , Kerrie-Ann, Lee, Yoke Seng, Ju, Robert J., Stebhens, Samantha J., Ladoux, Benoit, Mitchell, Christina A., Collins, Brett M., Parton, Robert G. and Yap, Alpha S. (2020). Caveolae control contractile tension for epithelia to eliminate tumor cells. Developmental Cell, 54 (1), 75-91.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2020.05.002


General information

  • You can download and save all the autumn 2023 FoS-seminars to your calendar from here:
  • Registration is not needed, participation list is circulated in the audience
  • If you are a student and later wish to get a certificate of attendance from the Frontier of Science seminars, print out the seminar diary and after the seminar ask the BioCity coordinator to sign it
  • Please note that any audio or video recording of the seminars is strictly forbidden.
  • Autumn 2023 FoS image credits to ANNA-MARI HAAPANEN-SAARISTO: Part of anoxia study of Eutardigrade species Macrobiotus Ripperi labelled with commercial fluorescent dyes, image acquired on 3i CSU-W1 Spinning disk with 40x objective