JAN 17, 2017 8:00 AM PST

Modelling cell to cell interactions with lung organoids- keys to differentiation, disease and therapy

  • Principal Investigator, University of Cambridge
      Dr Joo-Hyeon Lee was captivated by stem cell research through her PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Daesik Lim in KAIST, Korea. Following her studies, she joined the lab of Prof. Carla Kim at Harvard Medical School, where she became interested in the study of adult lung stem cells, and developed an ex vivo organoid co-culture system - which visualises lineage specification of stem cells and recapitulates the stem and stromal cell interactions of the lung.

      Dr Lee is currently a principal investigator at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, at the University of Cambridge, UK. Together with her group, she focuses on understanding the cellular behavior and regulatory networks of adult stem and niche cells in homeostasis and regeneration.


    Lung stem and progenitor cells are instructed to produce lineage-specific progeny that are regulated by unknown factors in their microenvironment.  Researchers use murine genetic models to identify the functional roles of critical stromal cell populations that control endogenous lung stem and progenitor cell populations, as well as to identify the key signaling pathways that operate between epithelial and stromal cells in vivo.

    Recently, ex-vivo organoid co-culture systems have been developed, which allow researchers to govern the lineage specification of epithelial stem/progenitor cells, and discover a new regulatory signaling pathway (BMP4-calcineurin/NFATc1-TSP1) that operates between damaged epithelial cells and endothelial cells to derive the alveolar lineage specification of distal lung stem cells-  bronchioalveolar stem cells (BASCs).

    This webinar reviews:

    • Lung organoid co-culture system as the modelling of cell-cell interactions
    • Crosstalk between stromal/niche cells and lung stem/progenitor cells for lineage specification
    • The future of lung stem cell-mediated epithelial homeostasis and related pulmonary disease research

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