Department of Molecular & Cellular Physiology
Host: Dan Kalderon
Title: Stem cell dynamics of flexible organ states
Abstract: Our organs contain multitudes of cells: Stem cells that generate new cells, new cells that are differentiating, differentiated cells that execute organ function, and dying cells that will soon be lost. What are the demographics and dynamics of these interrelated populations? How are they coordinated for steady-state turnover? How do they change in response to changing physiological demands? We explore these questions using the intestinal epithelium of the adult Drosophila midgut. The relative simplicity of this digestive organ--a tube comprising ~8,000 differentiated cells and ~2,000 stem cells--enables fine-grained analyses of population dynamics over space and time. By combining long-term, in vivo imaging with advanced genetic tools, we are investigating how cell numbers, fates, and organization are flexibly controlled at the tissue-scale. In my seminar, I will discuss recent insights into the homeostatic feedback signals that underlie cellular equilibrium and the spatiotemporal dynamics of cellular differentiation.