Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine (CBEM)
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CURRENTLY RECRUITING GRADUATE STUDENT MSc/PhD and POSTDOCTORAL POSITIONS (posted 12 April 2012)
The general interest of my lab is in tissue regeneration and the role of endogenous stem cells in mediating this process. Although the developing embryo and even neonatal mammals exhibit remarkable tissue regeneration, this capacity is rapidly lost with age. One exception to this is the hair follicle, which is uniquely able to regenerate itself, and do so without formation of scar tissue (much like embryonic tissues). This capacity is dependent on the presence of multiple stem cell populations that interact to rebuild the hair follicle. We are specifically interested in a multipotent stem cell that resides in the dermal component of follicles. We believe these cells function to initiate hair follicle regeneration and may also contribute to maintenance and repair of the skin throughout life. Our goal is to understand how these adult stem cells are maintained within their specialized hair follicle micro-environment (or ‘niche') and how they are activated during hair follicle regeneration and following injury. We hope that by understanding how resident stem cells are regulated in adult tissues we will then be able to exploit these precursors and enhance the body's natural mechanisms of repair/regeneration following injury or disease. We are also interested in neural stem cell biology and their potential utility for remyelination and treatment for demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis. We utilize transgenic mice, primary cell and tissue culture, and in vivo transplantation techniques to study these processes.