During embryonic development, pluripotent stem cells become progressively more committed to specific cell fates through differentiation processes. However, some cells remain as progenitor / stem cells even after birth and into the adult.
In my lab, we are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which specific tissues develop in the embryo, and how stem or progenitor cells can be guided towards particular fates ex vivo/in vitro and in vivo. We are particularly interested in developing and evaluating regenerative medicine therapies in preclinical models.
Currently, we are focussed on two major topics in the group:
- Investigating the potential, safety and efficacy of mouse and human kidney stem cells for renal replacement therapies using murine kidney injury models.
- Analysing the role of mesothelial cells in tissue development, homeostasis and repair.
To achieve these aims, we are using a range of preclinical imaging modalities, in vitro culture systems, genetic lineage tracing approaches and biomarker assays.
Our research is funded by the RCUK, MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, EU-FP7, and the Alder Hey Children’s Kidney Fund.