Growth Factors, Nutrients and Cancer

Group

Dr. Nabil Djouder

Location

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas (CNIO), Madrid

Research focus

By employing an interdisciplinary approach, which includes the use of various genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) and human data combined with state-of-the art technologies − including cell biology with organoid culture and quantitative imaging, biochemistry and functional genomic methodologies − we intend to deconstruct mechanisms of pathologies associated to the digestive system in response to environmental stressors, including the liver, intestine, pancreas and stomach.

We put effort (1) to find out what goes wrong in diseased and cancerous tissues; (2) to understand how the organ can regenerate and how regeneration in chronic injury can impact cancer development; and (3) to be able to promote healthy tissue regeneration and reduce cancer. We aim to understand mechanisms required to maintain the homeostasis between cell proliferation, differentiation and death and how dysregulation of this balance can impact on disease development.

Special effort will also be made to develop new approaches for the quantitative assessment and analysis of single cell RNA sequencing. Moreover, we have also developed an interest in nanotechnology-based theranostics, and plan to combine conceptual advances arising from my laboratory with this exploding technology in order to develop new therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Our final goal is to identify and functionally validate targets with potential preventive and therapeutic values to treat frequent lethal human disorders with increased worldwide incidence and unmet medical needs.