Alexander Kohlmeier

Alexander Kohlmeier (FHCRC Seattle and DKFZ-ZMBH alliance Heidelberg)

Adult stem cell division in regenerative tissues is selective and integrates cues from neighbouring differentiated cells to benefit organ function. The goal of my research is to investigate the role of physiological intra-epithelial mechanical strain following cell death and loss of old, damaged or inflamed differentiated cells in the local regenerative activation of metabolic growth and cell cycle progression of tissue stem cells. We use modern molecular, genetic and biophysical tools to investigate the elusive coupling of cell loss and local stem cell proliferation in the homeostatically growing Drosophila intestine. The aim of my research is to derive a quantitative understanding of regulatory pathways at single cellular level underlying regenerative growth in complex three-dimensional tissues. This has implications for stem cell-based in vitro tissue growth and in vivo regenerative therapies, as well as for tumor initiation in homeostatically growing organs.

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