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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Research project: The genetics and developmental biology of cell division in mammary stem cells

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In this project we aim to identify novel molecular mechanisms that regulate oriented cell division in mammary stem cells (MaSCs), and determine how these mechanisms influence MaSCs self-renewal and differentiation.

Mammary stem cells (MaSCs) have been identified as a subset of basal cells that display potent regenerative properties. These cells undergo asymmetric cell division (ACD) to generate luminal cells. However, the mechanisms controlling the division modes in mitotic MaSCs, and how this influences epithelial differentiation and architecture remain unknown.

This research project utilises CRISPR/Cas9 to generate molecular platforms, which in combination with proteomic approaches will allow us to identify novel factors that control the orientation of the mitotic spindle in MaSCs. We will determine how these factors control the execution of ACD, and influence MaSC self-renewal and differentiation in vivo, by combining genetic lineage tracing and 3D confocal imaging.

Funding: Gerald Kerkut Charitable Trust and Biological Sciences
Funding Duration: September 2017-August 2020

3D confocal imaging of mammary alveologenesis
3D confocal imaging of mammary alveologenesis

Related research groups

Biomedical Sciences
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