Welcome to the Rompolas Lab
In our laboratory we use advanced microscopy and mouse genetic tools to study the biological basis of skin regeneration. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms that stem cells employ to maintain and replenish the skin throughout life and to uncover which of these processes, when deregulated, are responsible for the emergence of disease. Taking advantage of the universality of basic biological mechanisms we will employ our learnings from the mouse model for the understanding and treatment of human skin disorders.
The skin is one of the most fascinating organs in our body; it protects and insulates us from the environment and in many ways makes us who we are. The skin is also extremely dynamic. On a daily basis billions of cells reach the end of their life cycle and are shed from our skin but they are soon replaced by new ones through the action of resident adult stem cells. Despite extensive research, a few fundamental questions remain regarding the skin regeneration process. How do the stem cells know precisely how many new cells to make and where to deliver them so that a perfect balance is maintained over time? How do the epithelial stem cells that regenerate the hair and the epidermis in the skin communicate with other cell types and the skin microenvironment? What causes the behavior of stem cells to change and how does this lead to a disease?
Using novel imaging technologies we can now directly begin to address these questions by observing and studying stem cells within their native tissue environment, in the skin of live mice. Our goal is to: i) Uncover the genes that control stem cell identity and fate in adult skin maintenance and regeneration, ii) Elucidate the mechanism of epithelial stem cell plasticity in response to injury and iii) Investigate how stem cells interact with elements of the skin microenvironment in homeostasis and pathophysiology.
Our mission is to perform stem cell research that will lead to better cures for human skin diseases, and to train the next generation of skin and stem cell scientists.
For us, research is a way of life. We are having fun doing it and we are always firm in our efforts to break new ground by encouraging scientific curiosity and the unhindered pursuit of knowledge. We are always looking for people that share our interests and enthusiasm, so if you like our work come check us out.
We currently have several positions open for new lab members. If you are interested in joining our lab as a research assistant, post-doctoral fellow, graduate or rotating student please contact us by sending your CV and a brief description of you future research interests.