Hime Laboratory: Stem Cell Genetics

Research Overview

Many differentiated but renewable cell types in vertebrates are derived from relatively small populations of dedicated precursors, or stem cells. The ability to replenish differentiated cells depends on the continued survival and proliferation of their respective stem cell populations.  Stem cells are not only important for regeneration of healthy tissues but also play a key role in pathogenesis. If we are to realise the goals of re-programming tissue differentiation, growing organs for transplantation in vitro, regeneration of damaged organs in vivo and targeted effective treatments for cancer it is essential that we understand the molecules and mechanisms that stem cells utilise for renewal and differentiation.

The identification of mechanisms that regulate asymmetric division, daughter cell mitotic amplification and stem cell differentiation have been difficult to ascertain.  These types of studies benefit greatly from the analysis of simple, genetically tractable systems.  For these reasons we have chosen to focus on two stem cell niches (male germ line and intestinal) in Drosophila and mouse as models for stem cell systems.

Our lab is focussed on analysing genes that regulate stem cell maintenance and differentiation using genetic screening in Drosophila and conditional mouse knockout models.

Staff

Associate Professor Gary Hime