The Lagasse Laboratory research is focused primarily on stem cell biology and cell-based therapy for a variety of diseases including cancer. Specific areas of interest comprise cell transplantation for liver disease, ectopic organogenesis, bioartificial tumors development and cancer stem cells.
Stem cells and cancer
In the egocentric view of a stem cell biologist, the origin of the majority of ailments is largely a matter of stem cells dysfunctions. Stem cells are involved in organ development, in tissue repair and ultimately in cancer. Our laboratory is interested in identifying and characterizing cancer stem cells and design new therapeutic strategies to treat cancer. Our efforts have focused on four different cancers, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, head and neck cancer and liver cancer.
Organogenesis of ectopic tissue in lymph node
Organogenesis is the process by which internal organs are formed. This complex biological process takes place during the embryonic phase but, in some cases, is reactivated during regenerative processes like after hepatectomy when liver regenerates. We have proposed a new paradigm for tissue remodeling and eventually organogenesis, by using lymph nodes as in vivo bioreactors to grow tissue or organ substitutes. Currently, the laboratory is involved in several tissue remodeling experiments and more specifically in developing ectopic liver in lymph node.