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Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute


Professor Doug Winton

Intestinal stem cells

Affiliation: Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK-CI)



Renewing tissues and many cancers are maintained by a small number of long-lived stem cells. Most models of stem cell organisation take account of their longevity and assume that they are stable populations carrying unique identifying characteristics. 

However, this interpretation now seems too simplistic. For example the active signalling pathways that together define signatures of stem cells may not be as stable over time as previously thought. 

Our approach is pragmatic: to identify novel ways of assaying stem cells in situ with respect to the functional behaviours that are integral to their biology. The objective is to quantitatively describe how such behaviours allow somatic variants to become fixed, spread within the tissue and ultimately undergo neoplastic transformation


CSCI collaborators

Ben Simons