Expert in Stem Cells Biology, Cardiac Development, Muscle Differentiation, Molecular Biology
Expert ID: 729864
Expert established herself as an independent investigator in Stem Cell research with the intent of applying the recent advances of this field to the study of human disease. To that end, she focused her graduate and post-graduate training on developing novel tools and a deeper molecular understanding of stem cell differentiation. She obtained her PhD from University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France. During her PhD work, she successfully set up the LacI/IPTG inducible and reversible expression system in mouse ES cells to investigate the role of different genes of interest in ES cells differentiation and demonstrated that HMGA2 transcription factor guides myogenesis in murine ES cells in vitro. During her four-year graduate training she acquired the expertise necessary to bring the potential of stem cell biology to the study of human disease.
In order to gain further training in stem cell biology and expand her expertise in cardiovascular biology, she joined Expert Kenneth Chien’s laboratory at the Cardiovascular Research Center (CVRC) of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA. During her postdoctoral training, she contributed to the isolation and characterization of Isl1+ multipotent cardiovascular progenitors. She developed a protocol to selectively and clonally amplify mouse embryonic stem cell-derived isl1+ cardiovascular progenitors and showed that the transcriptional signature of Isl1+/Nkx2.5+/Flk1+ defines a master multipotent cardiovascular stem cell, which can spontaneously give rise to the three major lineages in the heart: endothelial, cardiac, and smooth muscle. This work led to a significant advance in our understanding of mammalian heart development and suggests a strategy for cardiac tissue regeneration. She then has continued to build on her expertise in stem cell biology by including the expertise of human embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.
Her current goal is to establish cellular models for human muscular dystrophy. Expert has recently joined the IVF clinic GENEA based in Sydney, Australia and is now working on novel, stem cell-based tools to advance research in muscular dystrophy and facilitate drug development. She is specifically developing protocols and media to turn stem cells into skeletal muscle cells, the primary cell types affected in muscular dystrophy. This technically challenging task is performed by screening hundreds and thousands of combinations of molecules and factors known to direct stem cell development.