A team of researchers led by University of Western Australia’s Professor Alistair Forrest has completed research into cell behaviour, providing insight into how different, specialised cell types communicate as a cohesive network, passing hundreds of messages between each other constantly.
The research maps out the division of labour between cell types, and for the first time reveals the enormous diversity of ways in which these cells use protein messages to communicate with each other.
The findings could have a big impact on medicine. Understanding how cells communicate within a network could help us to better understand human development or interactions between diseases and our immune system.
The next step for the project is to join forces with the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research to investigate how cancer cells makes use of this cell-to-cell communication to avoid the immune system.