Wells laboratory: Stem cell systems
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Stem Cell Systems
What gives a cell its identity? This can be described in terms of developmental origin (ontogeny), or anatomical location (anatomy), or in situ function (physiology). When synthetically deriving a cell – for example, directing differentiation from a stem cell in a dish, or reprogramming a cell to take on functions that sit outside of an anatomical or developmental equivalent – new molecular definitions need to be found. These rely on discovery of the molecules that can define the uniqueness of a cell, predict its capacity to change or respond to differentiating or activating cues. Systems Biology approaches can describe these as molecular circuits – networks or pathways – necessary for cells to undertake specific functions. Our laboratory uses computational and systems biology approaches to understand two important cell types:
- The tissue macrophage, and its role in tissue damage and repair.
- We discover new molecules that confer functions to macrophages in recognition of inflammatory stimuli, and which are implicated in tissue damage during ischemic injury (stroke). We work on the C-type lectin Mincle (Clec4e), and associated signalling networks.
- Stem cells, pluripotent stem cells, and adult progenitor cells.
- The Stemformatics project. The MSC project.
Dr Jarny Choi, Bioinformatician
Dr Matthew Rutar, Research Fellow
Tyrone Chen, Research Assistant
Chris Pacheco Rivera, Research Assistant
Isha Nagpal, Web Developer
Isaac Virshup, PhD Student
Elizabeth (Lizzi) Mason, Research Assistant
Dr Paul Angel, Research Fellow
Nadia Rajab, PhD Student
Suzanne Butcher, PhD Student
Patricia Gigliuto, Manager, Centre for Stem Cell Systems
Jennifer Gilbert, EA to Professor Wells
NHMRC Project Grant (2016-17): "The C-type lectin Mincle exemplifies a new mode of sterile inflammation in cardiovascular disease"
ARC Future Fellowship (2015-19): "The Systems Biology of Stem Cells"
NCRIS: Bioplatforms Australia
Philanthropic funding: JEM Research Foundation
2016 Eureka Prize for International Scientific Collaboration - FANTOM5 consortium
2015 Metcalf Prize for Stem Cells Research - Professor Christine Wells
- The Stemformatics Stem Cell Atlas
- Uncovering the interplay between innate immunity and the blood brain barrier in disorders of the CNS
- Discovering and characterizing new genes involved in innate immunity, tissue injury and fibrosis
- Cell state and cell fate: Systems biology approaches to understanding cell identity
- Blood Atlas: Understanding cell state and differentiation using genomics data from blood cells
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Christine Wells
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