The cells that constitute our skin and line our organs are the first line of defense against injury and illness. These vital barriers are replenished by epithelial stem cells. IRM researchers study epithelial stem cells throughout the body to find ways to improve wound healing, heal the lungs after viral infection, reverse baldness, and more.
The IRM Epithelial Stem Cell Program focuses on the pathways the give rise to cells of the skin, intestines, cornea, hair follicles, and respiratory tract. Our researchers are experts in the cell signals that specify epithelial development in the embryo, the niches that sustain epithelial stem cells in adults, and the use of epithelium-derived organoid models of diseases. We are applying these insights to treatments for common diseases such as hair loss and diabetes and rare disorders such as dyskeratosis congenita.