Lunch @UCSF with Ophir Klein – The rodent tooth as a stem-cell niche
Lunch @UCSF with Ophir Klein – The rodent tooth as a stem-cell nicheDOWNLOADABLE GUIDE TO SUNDAY EVENTS
Ophir Klein is interested in understanding how organs form in the embryo and how they renew and regenerate in the adult. The maintenance, repair and growth of many adult organs, such as the bone marrow, skin, brain, and gastrointestinal tract, depend on tissue-specific populations of stem cells. Klein’s lab uses several models, in particular the rodent incisor, as model systems to understand adult stem cells. Unlike human teeth, the rodent incisor grows continuously throughout the life of the animal.
Members of the Klein lab are working to understand the molecular processes that regulate the behavior of the stem cells that make this continuous growth possible, including these cells’ capacity to self-renew as well as to differentiate into the various cellular components of the tooth. They intend to use the insights provided by experiments in mice to guide the use of stem cells in regenerating dental tissues as a paradigm for developing replacement organs. Ultimately, through understanding how development and regeneration normally occur in the hope of one day treating diseases that result from abnormalities in these processes.
Klein’s group also studies the mammalian gastrointestinal tract, which has a capacity to renew that has long fascinated biologists, and how signaling molecules act as positive and negative modulators in development, homeostasis and cancer.
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