Stem cell fate and plasticity in oesophageal wound healing

Year of award: 2014


  • Dr Maria Alcolea

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Maria is a cell biologist who focuses on understanding the behaviour of epithelial stem and progenitor cells. She uses the mouse oesophagus as a model to unveil the basic rules governing cell fate. Maria's work in the field has revealed how normal cell behaviour is drastically altered in response to injury. More recently she has shown how progenitor cells alter and adapt their dynamics as a result of pre-carcinogenic mutations, reflecting a remarkable epithelial plasticity. Maria’s main interests are in investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this plastic cell behaviour, and the potential implications for early cancer development.