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Sex differences in organ plasticity - 16 September 2020

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Sex differences in organ plasticity

Speaker: Professor Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Professor of Genetics and Physiology and MRC LMS Section Chair (Genes & Metabolism Section) Imperial College London

Irene Miguel-Aliaga is Professor of Genetics and Physiology at Imperial College London and Section Chair and Programme Leader at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences, London. She obtained her DPhil in Genetics from the University of Oxford, working with Prof. Kay E. Davies, and explored how neurons acquire their identity during postdoctoral work with Prof. Stefan Thor at Harvard, Linkoping University and Prof. Alex Gould at NIMR (now Crick Institute), London. First at Cambridge and now in London, her research group is investigating the plasticity of internal organs, with a major focus on the gastrointestinal tract and its neurons. Her recent work in flies (and, more recently, mice) has uncovered sex differences in the stem cells of the intestinal epithelium and their progeny: the enterocytes. These sex differences impact the ability of the intestine to resize, its tumour susceptibility and, more unexpectedly, food intake and gamete production. She was elected to the EMBO YIP programme in 2012, to EMBO in 2017 and to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019. She was the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant and currently holds an ERC Advanced Grant. She has been awarded a Suffrage Science Women in Science award.

Selected Publications

Hudry, B., de Goeij, E., Mineo, A., Gaspar, P., Hadjieconomou, D., Studd, C., Mokochinski, J.B., Kramer, H.B., Plaçais, P.-Y., Preat, T., Miguel-Aliaga, I. (2019) Sex differences in intestinal carbohydrate metabolism promote food intake and sperm maturation. Cell 178(4):901-918.e16. Highlighted by Dev Cell and Nat Rev Urol.

Perea, D., Guiu, J., Hudry, B., Konstantinidou, C., Milona, A., Hadjieconomou, D., Carroll, T., Hoyer, N., Natarajan, D., Kallijärvi, J., Walker, J.A., Soba, P., Thapar, N., Burns, A.J., Jensen, K.B., Miguel-Aliaga, I. (2017) Ret receptor tyrosine kinase sustains proliferation and tissue maturation in intestinal epithelia. EMBO J 36(20):3029-3045. Recommended in F1000.

Hudry, B., Khadayate, S., Miguel-Aliaga, I. (2016) The sexual identity of adult intestinal stem cells controls organ size and plasticity. Nature 530:344-8. Recommended in F1000 and highlighted by Cell Stem Cell Preview, Curr Biol Dispatch and Nature News and Views.

Reiff, T., Jacobson, J., Cognigni, P., Antonello, Z.A., Ballesta, E., Tan, K.J., Yew, J.Y., Dominguez, M., Miguel-Aliaga, I. (2015) Endocrine remodelling of the adult intestine sustains reproduction in Drosophila. Elife 4:e06930. Recommended in F1000 and highlighted by Elife Insight and Curr Biol Dispatch.

Linneweber, G.A., Jacobson, J., Busch, K.E., Hudry, B., Christov, C.P., Dormann, D., Yuan, M., Otani, T., Knust, E., de Bono, M., Miguel-Aliaga, I. (2014) Neuronal control of metabolism through nutrient-dependent modulation of tracheal branching. Cell 156(1-2):69.

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