In this main research area, we study the molecular and cell biological processes involved in tumorigenesis. The main focus is on gastrointestinal (GI) tumors, particularly on pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the third most common cancer of the GI tract with a very poor prognosis. A crucial step in tumorigenesis is the decrease in cell contact inhibition leading to invasion of tumor cells into the surrounding tissue. We establish novel biophysical techniques for the characterization of cell adhesion and migration. Moreover, we investigate cell adhesion complexes of different cell lines using fluorescence microscopy as well as biochemical and molecular biological methods.