- Institut de recherche en immunologie et en cancérologie (IRIC)
Université de Montréal
2950 Chemin de la Polytechnique
Montréal, QC H3T 1J4
My research program aims to understand the fundamental mechanisms that govern cell division during animal development. We specifically focus on studying the different properties of germline stem cells in a classic model organism: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
One of these properties is stem cell self-renewal. Like all types of stem cells, C. elegans germline stem cells undergo self-renewal through contact with their niche, a single cell named DTC. We seek to understand how these germline stem cells polarize and orient their division axis to maintain contact with the niche, and thus ensure a balance between self-renewal and differentiation.
Another property of germline stem cells studied in my group is their organization as a syncytium, a conserved cellular architecture in which multiple cell nuclei share a common cytoplasm. We seek to understand the molecular mechanisms that control syncytial architecture formation, expansion and maintenance, in order to decipher the fundamental principles that govern this type of tissue organization.
As most C. elegans genes controlling cell division have a human homolog, our findings using the nematode may guide our understanding of gene function in several diseases, including cancer.