The Gouon-Evans lab investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms driving liver development, regeneration and cancer. We specifically interrogate the role of progenitor/stem cells and how they share similar molecular signature and functions during these 3 processes.
Mouse endoderm at E8.5: Foxa2 (red), inducible Foxa2 tracing (green)
Our innovative tools include: 1) directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (PSC) to generate in vitro liver progenitors and their derivative hepatocytes, the main functional cell type of the liver, 2) mouse models with lineage tracing strategy to track in vivo the fate of progenitor cells, 3) PSC derivative cell transplantation into mouse models with damaged livers as cell therapy for liver diseases, 3) dissection of liver cancer specimens from patients to identify and define the impact of specific cancer stem cells in liver oncogenesis.
Mouse liver bud: Foxa2 (red), VEGFR2 tracing (green)
Projects in the Gouon-Evans lab will lead to a better understanding of the liver development, to the establishment of multi-modular approaches for improving liver regeneration with PSC derivatives, and will reveal the impact of specific cancer stem cells as a target for diagnosis and therapy in liver oncogenesis.