Hjalte List Larsen
Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine, reNEW, University of Copenhagen
We have shown that as stem cells and differentiated cells are exposed to wound environments, they undergo reprogramming to more primitive cell states recapitulating aspects of fetal development.
Using mouse models, clinical samples from human patients and state of the art cell culture models, our aim is to identify and characterise the regulatory mechanisms that control cell fate decisions during steady state homeostasis and regeneration, and utilise this knowledge to fuel tissue regeneration in patients suffering from ulcerative disorders.
The epithelia of the gastrointestinal tract and the skin are subject to continuous renewal throughout life. Stem cells residing in specific locations/environments (stem cell niches) are responsible for the life-long cellular replenishment of these tissues. Extrinsic factors provided by the stem cell niche in combination with the intrinsic properties of the stem cells control the balance between expansion of the stem cell pool by self-renewal.