Headshot portrait of Roeland Nusse - Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor in Cancer Research and Professor of Developmental Biology
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Nusse's laboratory is interested in the growth, development and integrity of animal tissues. They study multiple different organs, trying to identify common principles, and they extend these investigations to cancer and injury repair. In most organs, different cell types are generated by stem cells - cells that also make copies of themselves and thereby maintain the tissue. An optimal balance between the number of stem and differentiated cells is essential for the proper function of the organs. Locally-acting signals are important to maintain this balance in a spatially-organized manner and these signals are key to understanding the regulation of growth.

A common theme linking our work together are Wnt signals. Work from many laboratories, including their own, has shown that Wnt proteins are essential for the control over stem cells. How this is achieved is far from clear and is the subject of studies in the lab, both in vivo and in cell culture. In vivo, a particular question they address is how physiological changes, such as those occurring during hormonal stimuli, injury or programmed tissue degeneration have an impact on the self-renewal signals and on stem cell biology.