Organ Homeostasis & Physiology Lab

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Multicellular organisms have evolved organs and tissues with highly specialized tasks. The function of each organ is modified by local clues and systemic signals derived from other organs to ensure a coordinated response accommodating the physiological needs of the organism. The intestine, which represents one of the largest interfaces with the external environment, plays a key role in relaying environmental inputs to other organs to produce systemic responses. In turn, the gut is subject to multiple regulatory inputs from the brain, muscles, liver and adipose tissues. At steady-state turnover rates, the human intestine undergoes complete self-renewal every 4-5 days, a process which is highly accelerated in response to damage of the gut epithelium. This capacity for self-renewal relies on the proliferative activity of the intestinal stem cells (ISCs), which is tightly controlled by multiple local and systemic signals released from neighboring cell populations (the ISC niche) and non-gastrointestinal organs. Despite the physiological divergence between insects and mammals, studies have shown that drosophila represents a model that is well suited for studying stem cell physiology during ageing, stress, and infection. Our team is interested in identifying the intra- and inter-organ couplings contributing to gut homeostasis and disease.

Please visit our webpage at the DanStem, the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Biology at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.