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Stem Cells and Aging

Stem Cells and AgingWith age, the ability of most organs to maintain their function and be repaired gradually declines. This is due, at least in part, to the dramatic impact of aging on adult stem cells from flies to humans. Our work focuses on the role of conserved stress signaling pathways in the deregulation of intestinal stem cells in older animals.

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Cell Fate Decision

Cell Fate DecisionDuring each stem cell division, precise mechanisms insure that newly formed cells differentiate into the correct cell type that is required to maintain long-term homeostasis of their resident tissue. We have recently identified a novel mechanism controlling this process in the Drosophila intestine. It involves a cell surface receptor and its ligand, which have not yet been recognized as stem cell regulators.

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Stem Cell Quiescence and RNA Stability

Stem Cell Quiescence and RNA StabilityStem cell division is essential for tissue maintenance and repair. However, inhibiting their proliferation, when new cells are not needed, is also essential prevent stem cell exhaustion and tumor formation. While a lot of research effort has been focused on the mechanisms that allow stem cell to proliferate, much less is known about the mechanisms that dynamically regulate stem cell quiescence (re)entry. We are currently investigating the role of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in the control of quiescence.

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Transcription Factors and Self-Renewal

Transcription Factors and Self-RenewalIn all stem cells, keys transcription factors have been identified as master regulators of stem cell identity and function. However, in most adult tissues, how these factors are regulated and the detailed mechanisms by which they control stem cell function remain largely unknown. Our work using Drosophila may shed a new light on some of these conserved proteins.

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