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Virginie Sottile

Associate Professor in Stem Cell Biology & Cell Differentiation, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

See our lab website: http://www.sottile-lab.net

Research in my lab focuses on the genetic aspects of stem cell biology, and on the molecular mechanism regulating the differentiation ability of adult stem cells compared to embryonic stem cells. We isolate and grow adult stem cells from different origins, in order to identify the key factors involved in the acquisition of a specific lineage identity, around two central themes:

1) One aspect of our research focuses on mesenchymal stem cells, which are multipotent cells present in the bone marrow. Using in vitro culture, transfection and differentiation techniques, we investigate the signalling pathways and genetic machinery regulating their differentiation potential towards mesenchymal (osteo/adipogenic) and neural lineages. We are investigating the role of specific candidate genes in the fate choice of adult vs embryonic stem cells.

2) Our second axis of research focuses on neural stem cells, which reside in discrete locations in the adult brain. Using a mouse model, we study the distribution, properties and gene expression pattern of neural stem cells in order to determine the core features defining a cell as a neural stem cell. We are interested in investigating the relationship between stem cells, tissue repair and neoplasia.

see our latest study: http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/v19/n12/full/cr2009119a.html

Expertise Summary

A growing body of literature refers to stem cells from embryonic or adult origin, and describes the active effort to understand their specific biology. The issues of stem cell commitment and multipotency are fundamental for the manipulation of adult stem cell populations for therapeutic use. Research in our group focuses on adult stem cells (from human and mouse origin) to investigate their characteristics and differentiation potential in comparison to embryonic stem cells, in order to devise molecular and cellular methods to modulate their differentiation in vitro and in vivo. Using a combination of cell culture, transfection, gene expression anaylsis and transplantation techniques, we are analysing bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and brain-derived neural stem cells. We are based in the Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling ('STEM'), which offers a multidisciplinary environment for fundamental research, as well as clinical links to the Medical School and Queen's Medical Centre. We are part of the School of Clinical Sciences, and members of the Centre for Genetics & Genomics.

Teaching Summary

Lecturer and Module convener (Adult Stem Cell biology module, A34ASC), MSc Stem Cell Technology, The University of Nottingham. Lecturer on the Cell, Developmental & Molecular Biology… read more

Research Summary

see our lab website: http://www.sottile-lab.net

Research in my lab focuses on the genetic aspects of stem cell biology, and on the molecular mechanism regulating the differentiation ability of adult stem cells compared to embryonic stem cells. We isolate and grow adult stem cells from different origins, in order to identify the key factors involved in the acquisition of a specific lineage identity, around two central themes: 1) mesenchymal stem cells, which are multipotent cells present in the bone marrow. Using in vitro culture, transfection and differentiation techniques, we investigate the signalling pathways and genetic machinery regulating their differentiation potential towards mesenchymal (osteo/adipogenic) and neural lineages. 2) neural stem cells, which reside in discrete locations in the adult brain. We study the distribution, properties and gene expression pattern of neural stem cells in order to determine the core features defining a cell as a neural stem cell. We are interested in investigating the relationship between stem cells, tissue repair and neoplasia.

Selected Publications

  • Lecturer and Module convener (Adult Stem Cell biology module, A34ASC), MSc Stem Cell Technology, The University of Nottingham.
  • Lecturer on the Cell, Developmental & Molecular Biology (A34CDM) and Embryonic Stem Cell (A34ESC) modules, MSc Stem Cell Technology, The University of Nottingham.
  • Guest lecturer on Neural Stem Cells module (A13NSC), 3rd year medical BMedSci students, The University of Nottingham.
  • Tutor for PG students, MSc Stem Cell Technology, The University of Nottingham.
  • Main supervisor for 3 PhD students, co-supervisor for 2 PhD students.
  • Academic member of the EPSRC DTC Regenerative Medicine.
  • Associate of the HEA (AHEA), ATP certified.

Past Research

My research work started in the lab of Dr Klaus Seuwen (NIBR, Basel), where my doctoral work focused on the differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells, an adult stem cell population present in the bone marrow. I was particularly interested in the regulation of osteogenic vs. adipogenic fate choice in these multipotent progenitors (Sottile et al. 2000,2001,2002,2004). I then joined the Roslin Institute (Edinburgh) to work with human embryonic stem cells (hESC). My project focused on the study of hESC differentiation, and led to the first report showing human ES-derived osteoblasts in vitro (Sottile et al. 2003, Xu et al. 2004). I joined the University of Nottingham in 2003, and have now established my own group to investigate the biology and differentiation potential of adult stem cells for biomedial applications.

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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