Molecular mechanisms controlling germline stem cell biology

Year of award: 2017


  • Dr Felipe Karam Teixeira

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Maintenance of stem cell populations, as well as the control of self-renewal and differentiation is essential for proper development and tissue homeostasis in animals. Indeed, ablation of the stem cell population can lead to organ malformation and tissue replacement defects, affecting longevity or fertility. The same is true for unbalanced shifts between stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, which can directly affect tissue architecture and regeneration capacity, as well as leading to tumours. Even though the commitment to differentiate must be very well controlled, our understanding of these processes remains limited.

I will investigate the mechanisms that regulate stem cell biology in vivo by using the germline as a model system and employing a variety of genetic, molecular and developmental analyses. In particular, I am interest in understanding how changes in gene expression control the balance between stem cell self-renewal and differentiation.

Given the importance of stem cells for development and survival, this research is not only of broad interest to biologists and stem cell researchers, but has direct implications on regenerative medicine, ageing, and cancer.