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Using human pluripotent stem cell-derived gastrointestinal organoids to study development and disease

Speaker: Professor James Wells

Speaker Biography: 

Research in the Wells lab aims to understand the development of the pancreas, and gastrointestinal organs; generating 3-dimensional human tissues from pluripotent stem cells and using these as human models of diabetes and digestive disease.

The focus of his team's basic research has been to identify the molecular mechanisms involved in the embryonic development of endocrine cells including pancreatic beta cells and tissues of the gastrointestinal tract.

Their translational projects have focused on identifying new approaches to improve child health in several ways:

  1. To identify and use embryonic pathways to generate complex, three-dimensional organ tissues from pluripotent stem cells
  2. Use these tissues to develop new in vitro human models for diabetes and digestive disease research
  3. Develop long-term, therapeutic strategies for cell and tissue-replacement therapies