University of Dundee

Regenerative Medicine

Greg Findlay

Investigates how signal transduction regulates Embryonic Stem Cell pluripotency and differentiation.

This research aims to identify new signalling pathways and small molecule inhibitors that can be exploited in somatic cell reprogramming and directed differentiation. The Findlay lab has recently identified a key cell signalling pathway that regulates stem cell pluripotency and cardiovascular differentiation. The lab is collaborating with chemists at Harvard University (USA) and cardiac specialists in Leiden (NL) to develop new strategies to promote cardiac differentiation from pluripotent stem cells.

Vicky Cowling

Investigates how mammalian gene expression is regulated by the mRNA cap.

This research aims to determine whether the mRNA capping enzymes could be utilised as therapeutic targets to direct cell fate decisions. The Cowling lab is collaborating with the Dundee Drug Discovery Unit to develop cap methyltransferase inhibitors.

Jens Januschke

Investigates stem cell division and cell fate generation in fruit flies 

This research aims at understanding how stem cells self-renew and produce daughter cells that differentiate in a single division. Perturbing this type of division in neural stem cells in the fly can result in uncontrolled growth of cells that exhibit key traits of human malignancies. We use genetic screens and chemical genetic approaches to unravel the molecular mechanisms that link failed cell fate decision and tumour-suppression in stem cells.

Kate Storey

Investigates how neural differentiation is regulated 

Research in this group addresses how neural differentiation is regulated using embryos and human pluripotent cell based assays. We investigate early steps in this process. These include how signalling regulates chromatin remodelling mechanisms to coordinate onset of the neural differentiation gene programme and live cell imaging assays which allow us to monitor and interrogate cell biological mechanisms regulating neuron production and differentiation. A further project investigates the formation of the adult mouse spinal cord central canal. Neural progenitors in the ventricular layer of the neural tube gradually become quiescent as they form the canal, but are stimulated to re-enter the cell cycle in response to exercise, inflammation or injury. We are investigating the regulation of entry into and exit from quiescence in this cell population.

Inke Nathke

APC, stem cells, and tissue dynamics

My work focusses on the cell biology of the intestinal epithelium and I am a world expert on the biochemistry and cell biology of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) protein. The Apc gene is mutated in most colon cancers and I aim to understand how APC contributes to normal tissue homeostasis and how its loss leads to cancer.  To this end I study the biochemistry of APC and how it contributes to cell and tissue behaviour.  Using computational modelling helps us to generate predictions about cell and tissue behaviour that can then be tested in different biological systems.  The gut epithelium acts as a paradigm of all epithelia: it is the most dynamic tissue in the adult and allows fundamental biological insights into adult stem cells and normal and disease-associated tissue biology.