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Stem Cells in Pancreas Development and Disease

We are interested in understanding how extracellular signals and intrinsic genetic programs interact to dictate cell fate decisions in stem and progenitor cells. The main focus is the development of the endocrine lineage in the pancreas and the conversion of pluripotent stem cells into functional beta cells.

 

Figure: Centroacinar cells are stem/progenitor cells of the adult mouse pancreas.

Previous and current research

We are interested in understanding how extracellular signals and intrinsic genetic programs interact to initially dictate cell fate decisions in stem and progenitor cells and eventually establish mature phenotypes.

Our main focus is the development of the endocrine lineage in the pancreas and the conversion of human pluripotent stem cells into functional beta cells. Key questions that we are addressing concern the signals that guide cell transitions during pancreas differentiation and the regulators of the timing of these transitions. more

Future projects and goals

  • Identify distinct signaling requirements for the different pancreatic lineages
  • Explore the role of adult pancreas stem cells in organ homeostasis and cancer development
  • Understand the metabolic requirements for the maintenance of pancreas progenitor cells
  • Use directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into beta cells to understand human endocrine development and develop cell therapies for diabetes

Group leader

Selected publications

E. Mameishvili, I. Serafimidis, S. Iwaszkiewicz, M. Lesche, S. Reinhardt, N. Bölicke, M. Büttner, D. Stellas, A. Papadimitropoulou, M. Szabolcs, K. Anastassiadis, A. Dahl, F. Theis, A. Efstratiadis and A. Gavalas. Aldh1b1 expression defines progenitor cells in the adult pancreas and is required for K-ras induced pancreatic cancer (2019). PNAS, Epub Sep 23.
 
I. Giannios, I. Serafimidis, V. Anastasiou, D. Pezzola, M. Lesche, C. Andree, M. Bickle, and A. Gavalas. Protein methyltransferase inhibition decreases endocrine specification through the upregulation of Aldh1b1 expression (2019). Stem Cells, 37, (640-651).
 
I. Serafimidis, E. Rodriguez-Aznar, M. Lesche, K. Yoshioka, Y. Takuwa, A. Dahl, D. Pan and A. Gavalas. Pancreas lineage allocation and specification are regulated by sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling (2017). PLOS Biology, 15, e2000949.  
 
V. Anastasiou, E. Ninou, D. Alexopoulou, J Stertmann, A. Müller, A. Dahl, M. Solimena, S. Speier, I. Serafimidis and A. Gavalas. Aldehyde dehydrogenase activity is necessary for β cell development and functionality (2016). Diabetologia, 59, (139-50).
 
I. Serafimidis, S. Heximer, D. Beis and A. Gavalas. GPCR signaling and S1P play a phylogenetically conserved role in endocrine pancreas morphogenesis (2011). Mol. Cell. Biol. 31, (5702-11).

Contact

Group Leader

Anthony Gavalas
anthony.gavalas[at]tu-dresden.de
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 82002

 

Lab Manager

Zeina Nicola
zeina.nicola[at]tu-dresden.de
Phone: +49 (0)351 458 82031

Lab Activities

Teaching:

  • TU Dresden DIGS-BB Ph.D. Program
  • TU Dresden M.Sc. Program in Regenerative Biology and Medicine
  • TU Dresden M.Sc. Program in Molecular Bioengineering

Jobs:

  • M.Sc. projects are available for 2019-2020

News:

  • Ioannis Serafimidis, an alumnus of the lab, is a Group Leader at the Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens, Greece
  • Mina Gouti, an alumnus of the lab, is a Group Leader at the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine

Funding

  • Germany Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) / Helmholtz Centre Munich
  • German Research Foundation (DFG) SFB 655
  • DFG-Centre for Regenerative Therapies Dresden