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Functional Dissection of the Pancreatic Microenvironment During Embryonic Development

Research image

The pancreas controls vital functions in our body, including production of digestive enzymes and glucose metabolism. Pancreas organogenesis involves a long-lasting crosstalk between the pancreatic epithelium and its surrounding microenvironment(s). Although these tissue interactions are required for pancreatic differentiation, growth and morphogenesis, little is known about the cellular identities and putative functional heterogeneity of the surrounding microevironment. In this project, we aim at resolving the full spectrum of cellular interactions in mouse and human pancreatic tissues. Subsequently, we will mimic the pancreatic microenviroment(s) and study cellular interactions taking advantages of microfluidic platforms capable of culturing multiple cell types in 3D.

Disciplines and Techniques
Project supervisor/s
Dr. Francesca Spagnoli
Francesca's research focuses on cell identities are assigned by the interplay of extrinsic signals and intrinsic determinants.
King's College London
Professor Emad Moeendarbary
Emad is a mechanical engineer with a strong interest in the experimental and ‎theoretical/computational study of biological systems.
University College London
References
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Hogan, B. L. M., Kolodziej, P. A.
Nat Rev Genet 3, 513–523
2002
Zepp, J.A., Zacharias, W.J., Frank, D.B., Cavanaugh, C.A., Zhou, S., Morley, M.P., Morrisey, E.E. Cell 170, 1134-1148.e1110. (2017)
Zepp, J.A., Zacharias, W.J., Frank, D.B., Cavanaugh, C.A., Zhou, S., Morley, M.P., Morrisey,
E.E. Cell 170, 1134-1148.e1110
2017
From endoderm to pancreas: a multistep journey.
Spagnoli, FM
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 64:2378-90
2007
Cozzitorto, C, Spagnoli, FM. Curr Top Dev Biol. 132, 221-256 (2019).
Cozzitorto, C, Spagnoli, FM
Curr Top Dev Biol. 132, 221-256
2019
Landsman, L. et al. Plos Biol 9, e1001143 (2011)
Landsman, L. et al.
Plos Biol 9, e1001143
2011
In vitro modelling of mechanics in cancer metastasis
A. Malandrino, R.D. Kamm and E. Moeendarbary
ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, doi: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.7b00041
2017