Epithelial cells perform most functions of each organ while protecting them from the outside environment. Intrinsic to these functions is maintaining a proper density, yet this varies between organs and becomes misregulated in diseases like cancer. Here, we examine what controls cell number density and if this same mechanism controls cell competition, or removal of unfit cells within an epithelium. This project will take a combined approach using live imaging of cell culture lines that grow to different densities, alone, or in co-culture, and in silico simulations to confine models.
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