Stem Cell Fate Dynamics
Led by Dr Joaquin de Navascués, this research group focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms whereby tissue stem cells balance differentiation and self-renewal.
Adult stem cells have the remarkable capacity to produce several differentiated cell types whilst self-renewing themselves. This is essential to maintaining tissues that are subject to constant wear and tear, such as the skin or the gut; defects in stem cell behaviour can lead to malfunction or malignancies.
The Navascués lab uses the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster, a tractable model organism, to investigate intestinal stem cell regulation in great detail in in the context of a whole organism, with a view to identifying strategies to target both normal and cancer stem cells.