Tudorita Tumbar, professor of molecular biology and genetics in the College of Arts and Sciences, has received three related grants for the next five years, totaling $7.7 million, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
The work aims to understand how stem cells function to fuel normal tissue maintenance and to repair injuries in actively regenerative tissues, such as skin. Discoveries could contribute to treatments for burns and skin aging.
Using mouse genetics and genomics, the Tumbar Lab is investigating the molecular mechanisms employed by stem cells to perform their normal function. Perturbations in these stem cell related mechanisms are thought to lead to many devastating conditions, such as cancer, vascular disease and aging.
Tissue stem cells are rare and difficult to identify and study in the intact mammalian tissue, but using innovative mouse genetic approaches the Tumbar Lab has been able to make new discoveries with respect to several aspects of stem cell organization using mouse skin as a model.