Research in the Biteau lab focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control tissue homeostasis and somatic stem cells. Over the last decade, stem cells have received considerable attention due to their implication in aging, cancer and their potential use in regenerative medicine. For these reasons, elucidating the mechanisms that regulate stem cells is essential not only for our knowledge of basic cell biology, but will also allow researchers to understand the origins of diseases, such as degenerative syndromes and cancers, and develop preventive and therapeutic strategies.
In our laboratory, we use Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the role of conserved mechanisms that regulate the function of adult intestinal stem cells. The power of fly genetics, combined with biochemical and cellular approaches, allows us to investigate many conserved and novel signaling pathways and factors regulating stem cell function directly in vivo. In addition, this experimental model remains unique, as it renders easily accessible studies exploring the influence of adult stem cells on tissue repair, aging and longevity.
Importantly, the vast majority of the mechanisms that have been shown so far to control the function of intestinal stem cells in Drosophila are conserved in mammals, including in many human organs. This suggests that our research will generate new hypotheses to guide future work in more complex organisms. Our studies are part of a vast collaborative effort on stem cell and aging research at the University of Rochester.
Current Research Projects
Research in the Biteau lab is currently supported by The Ellison Medical Foundation (New Scholar in Aging Research Award) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.