Modelling stem cell decisions in mouse germ cells (2014–2016)
A fundamental problem in biology is how cells transition from pluripotency to lineage commitment. The aim here is to study this problem, in vivo, by dissecting the mechanisms active during normal development of primordial germ cells (PGCs, gamete stem cells) in the mouse fetal testis. Using molecular, cellular and whole animal assays three central hypotheses will be addressed regarding genes likely to be important in the process. This research will reveal the molecular nature of bipotential switches in cell identity and will inform some of the most important biological issues of our time, including tissue regeneration, aging and cancer biology.