Every organ harbours adult stem cells which have the potential for long-term replication, together with the capacities of self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation.
These stem cells function in tissue homeostasis and contribute to regeneration in response to injury. In addition, many cancers are caused by transforming mutations occurring in tissue-specific progenitor cells.
Our major focus is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms governing stem cell function. As well as studying tumour development using murine genetic models, we are now also applying our knowledge of stem cells and cellular differentiation mechanisms to diabetes.