Dynamics of CS activation.
Following muscle damage, SCs are activated and migrate to the injury sites to provide differentiated myoblasts required for muscle repair. We use real-time imaging approaches to describe the early stages of SC activation. We are particularly interested in their migration, remodeling and interactions with other cell types.
How do CSs perceive activation signals?
The activation of SCs is controlled by signals from the microenvironment. The Notch signaling pathway is an important signal, which is required for both maintenance and proliferation of SCs. Notch is also involved in asymmetric division of SCs to allow their self-renewal. The objective of this project is to understand how SCs perceive the Notch signal during the successive stages of muscle repair.
Identification of genes and programs required for CS activation.
SCs are dormant but can be activated to restore damaged muscles. We are using genomic approaches to identify genes differentially regulated in SCs before and in response to muscle injury to determine which programs 1) prevent SCs from differentiating under normal physiological conditions and 2) control the different steps of SC activation during muscle repair.