The main focus of Martyn’s laboratory is to investigate the role of desmosomes in the biology of epithelial tissues and cardiac muscle, both in normal development and disease. Desmosomes are intercellular junctions that are essential for the maintenance of tissue integrity, and are abundant in tissues such as the skin and heart, that are subjected to mechanical stress. Loss of desmosomal adhesion can result in devastating skin blistering diseases such as pemphigus, and unexpected heart failure in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Martyn is interested in the role of desmosomes in cell differentiation, wound healing and cancer. He is working on the cell and structural biology of desmosomal proteins such as desmocollin, desmoglein and desmoplakin, using techniques such as transfection and immunocytochemistry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography, to learn about their structure and interactions at the cellular and molecular level.