Université de Strasbourg

Ophir Klein

From tooth to guts: mechanisms of epithelial renewal and regeneration

USIAS Public Lecture
Friday 8 September, 11:00
Auditorium IGBMC, Illkirch (map)

A central challenge facing medicine today is the development of strategies for organ regeneration and repair, and an important next step for regenerative medicine is to understand the mechanisms by which mammals naturally use stem cells to renew and heal tissues. The continuously growing rodent incisor provides a model that allows us to understand how adult stem cells can produce progeny throughout an animal’s life. This system allows for powerful integration of investigations into how stem cells function, how they evolved, and how their behaviors are coordinated across tissues.

I will present data from our recent work focusing on development and renewal of the rodent incisor. This organ, like many others such as the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and hematopoietic system, is dependent on the continuous generation of progeny from stem cells that have the capacity to self-renew as well as to give rise to the required differentiated cell types. I will first discuss candidate approaches to the identity and location of the stem cells, as well as unbiased screening techniques that can be used to deconstruct the system. I will then discuss the transcriptional and signaling networks that regulate the stem cells and will introduce evolutionary perspectives on continuously growing teeth. Finally, I will present recent work from our lab examining the response of gastrointestinal epithelial stem cells to injury, and I will conclude with perspectives on how the power of stem cells can be harnessed to treat human disease.


photo Ophir KleinOphir Klein is Professor of Orofacial Sciences and Pediatrics, the Larry L. Hillblom Distinguished Professor in Craniofacial Anomalies, and the Charles J. Epstein Professor of Human Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Professor Klein is a developmental biologist as well as a pediatrician and medical geneticist, interested in understanding developmental mechanisms in order to lay the groundwork for regenerative medicine. Professor Klein’s clinical efforts center on patients with craniofacial anomalies, and his lab is focused on using the mouse as a model for understanding the genetic regulation of development and regeneration, and in general on understanding how stem cells function during normal homeostasis as well as during injury and repair.

One of professor Klein’s main areas of interest has been to elucidate the mechanisms that regulate adult stem cells in the mouse incisor as a first step toward being able to regenerate teeth and other craniofacial structures, and the Klein laboratory has published a number of key discoveries in this field.

Over the past few years, Ophir Klein has devoted considerable effort to building the craniofacial community at UCSF. He is the founding Director of the research Program in Craniofacial Biology; he serves as Chair the Division of Craniofacial Anomalies and, as of April 2016, Chief of the Division of Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics. In addition to their craniofacial work, his laboratory has invested a significant amount of effort of late into studying epithelial stem cells in the intestine. Their first foray into this field led to an exciting publication that investigated the identity of stem cells in the intestine. More recently, Klein’s team has investigated how signaling pathways interact in the regulations of intestinal stem cells.

Professor Klein is in Strasbourg as part of the USIAS short visit program, and is hosted by Dr Agnès Bloch-Zupan from IGBMC, USIAS Fellow 2015. In addition to the lecture at the IGBMC on Friday 8 September 2017 at 11:00, there will be a seminar at the Faculty of Dentistry on Monday 11 September 2017 at 13:00 (more information on this event: mail).


Link to the Klein lab

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