The physiological process that maintains a constant number of cells in renewing organs is called tissue homeostasis. Stem cells located in these organs are responsible for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis during physiological condition and tissue repair following injuries. A better understanding of the mechanisms regulating stem cell function will have an important impact into the understanding and treatment of many pathological conditions such as cancer, degenerative diseases or ageing.
Our lab is studying:
Using different models, we are studying how multipotent progenitors are specified during embryonic development, what mechanisms control the differentiation of embryonic progenitors into the different cell lineages that composed adult tissue and how tissue maintenance is ensured during homeostasis.
For the vast majority of cancers, the cell at the origin of tumor initiation is still unknown. We are using novel genetic approach to identify the cell lineage at the origin of the most frequent epithelial cancers in humans.
Some cancers contain cells with stem cells characteristics, and which are called cancer stem cells. We are using different approach to understand the mechanisms regulating cancer stem cell function during tumor growth and relapse after therapy.