Pluripotent stem cells have the potential to differentiate into any cell type in the body, whereas tissue stem cells can only generate the differentiated cell types restricted to the specific tissue. In developing embryos and adults, stem cells can be discovered in tissues such as the brain, muscle, eye, and placenta.
Many faculty members from Division of Life Science work with pluripotent and tissue stem cells as models for human development and disease, as well as cell-based therapeutics. By better understanding how stem cells are controlled and how diseases are developed in a lab environment, we hope to find new ways to treat patients. Our researchers are investigating the role of embryonic, fetal, and adult tissue stem cells in a wide range of conditions, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, aging, diabetes, glaucoma, and pregnancy complications. Each group focuses on a highly specific area of research, including:
the properties of stem cells and their niches
in vitro and in vivo modulation of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation
the role of stem cells in various pathological conditions
the mechanisms underlying tissue degeneration and repair
the development of bioengineered organs and tissues
In this TRS project, we propose to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying stem cell maintenance, differentiation and aging in model organisms such as Drosophila, zebrafish and mice.
The project aims to address the urgent need for new and innovative therapies for the treatment of age-related neurodegenerative disorders, including the highly prevalent Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Using different mouse models we generated that display defects in early activation of adult MuSC, we propose to perform comprehensive and systematic molecular, cellular, and mouse-based studies in order to understand how adult QSCs are regulated to become cycling myoblasts upon muscle injury.