Understanding the establishment of cellular identity is a major goal in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Our main research interest focuses on the mechanisms regulating cell identity and plasticity of key metabolic organs, such as the pancreas and the liver. We use a combination of genetic approaches with genomic strategies and imaging in mouse embryos and human pluripotent stem cells to study how distinct cell types, such as liver and pancreas, arise from common progenitors and acquire specialized shape to form functional organs. What is the gene regulatory network upstream of the fate decision between liver and pancreas? Is the establishment of distinct cellular identities and morphogenetic programs interdependent? How plastic are these cellular states? Can we harness cell plasticity towards novel regenerative therapies for diabetes? Ultimately, the long-term goal of our research is to translate these concepts into a better understanding of the pathogenesis as well as treatment options of pancreatic diseases.
Please see the Lab website here: https://www.spagnolilab.org/
National Centre for the Replacement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs)
European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes