🟣Jensen Group

The epithelia of the gastrointestinal tract and the skin are subject to continuous renewal throughout adult life. Stem cells residing in specific locations/environments (stem cell niches) are responsible for the life-long cellular replenishment of these tissues. Extrinsic factors provided by the stem cell niche, in combination with the intrinsic properties of the stem cells, control the balance between the expansion of the stem cell pool by self-renewal and commitment to differentiation following exit from the niche. The regulatory mechanisms that control normal homeostasis are compromised during diseases such as cancer, as excessive accumulation of cells fuels tumor growth.

During development and tissue regeneration, a similar imbalance between the gain and loss of cells can be observed to fuel organ growth or wound healing. We aim to identify and characterize the regulatory mechanisms controlling cell fate decisions during development, homeostasis, and diseases such as cancer using mouse models, clinical samples from human patients, and state-of-the-art cell culture models.

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