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Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute

 

 

Dr Teresa Rayon 

Stem cells in embryonic development

Laboratory: Babraham Institute 

 

Research Summary

 

The mechanisms that underlie biological timing remain largely unknown. Our lab studies the regulatory and dynamic processes that control timing in development and homeostasis across and within species with the long-term goal to modulate biological timing in a precise and tunable manner. Our current research questions are:

  1. What are the molecular and metabolic mechanisms that control biological timing?
  2. Can we modulate developmental timing and extend lifespan?
  3. What is the role of protein turnover in developmental timing and lifespan?

We make use of comparative human and mouse stem cell models as well as embryos to search for the regulatory mechanisms that determine species-specific timing. The lab employs genetic and pharmacological manipulations and quantitative and temporally resolved techniques such as flow cytometry, imaging, and genome-wide approaches to investigate the molecular and metabolic mechanisms that regulate biological timing.

Overall, the identification of physiological mechanisms that modulate timing and its translation to stem cell models may have important implications in the field of human assisted reproduction, regenerative medicine, and aging. Changing the pace of developmental processes may facilitate the generation of clinically relevant cell types faster or it may allow lifespan extension.

 

Fluorescent images showing nuclear staining in mouse and human embryos at two equivalent developmental stages.