Babraham Distinguished Lecture - Understanding cellular dynamics in mammalian skin
Fiona Watt obtained her DPhil from the University of Oxford, and carried out postdoctoral research at M.I.T, Cambridge, USA. She established her first lab at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London, and then moved to London Research Institute. From 2006 to 2012 she was Deputy Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute and Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research, University of Cambridge. Professor Watt is currently on secondment as the Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council. The major research interest of the Watt lab is in the role of stem cells in adult tissue maintenance. Mammalian epidermis is used as a model system in many studies in the lab, both in the context of genetically modified mice and epidermal reconstitution in culture. Current projects are exploring self-renewal and lineage selection by human and mouse epidermal stem cells, the role of stem cells in epidermal and oral tumour formation, and the nature of mesenchymal cells in skin. Professor Watt’s lab also has active collaborations with bioengineers and chemists in order to study stem cell-niche interactions in vitro. Additionally, they are collaborating with bioinformaticians and computational biologists who are helping us to explore stem cell heterogeneity at single cell resolution.
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