Adult stem and progenitor cells play fundamental roles in tissue homeostasis, renewal and regeneration. When these cells become dysfunctional they contribute to a myriad of diseases including cancer, fibrosis, accelerated aging and degenerative disorders.
On Friday, September 23, Dr. T. Michael Underhill will talk about the role of mesenchymal progenitors (MPs) in tissue renewal and regeneration. MPs represent one type of adult progenitor cell and can be found to varying extents in most tissues. In homeostasis, MPs are mostly in an inactive, or quiescent, state and become “activated” in response to various signals. Activation is typically associated with MP re-entry into the cell cycle where they produce an environment to support tissue regeneration.
In this seminar, Dr. Underhill will talk about the mouse models he has developed to better understand the nature, fate and function of MPs in tissue renewal and regeneration.
Dr. Underhill is a professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He completed his Ph.D. at Western University (1991) and carried out post-doctoral training at Duke University (1991-95) where he studied the function of the retinoid signaling in limb development. Following this, he became an assistant professor at Western University (1996) where his group described fundamental roles for retinoid signaling in regulating mesenchymal cell differentiation.
In 2004, Dr. Underhill joined UBC and his interests expanded to include investigating how mesenchymal progenitors support tissue regeneration and tumorigenesis. He served as the Scientific Director at the Centre for Drug Research and Development from 2013-2015, a not-for-profit independent organization promoting and facilitating commercialization of academia-based discoveries. From 2001-2011, Dr. Underhill held salary awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Society.