Join us on Tuesday 12 November to hear WEHI's Prof Jane Visvader discuss mammary stem cells and the evolving hierarchy. Refreshments to follow.
VENUE: Auditorium, Melbourne Brain Centre, The University of Melbourne
ABSTRACT: To understand relationships between breast tissue and ‘cells of origin’ of breast cancer, it is important to dissect the normal mammary epithelial hierarchy. Discrete populations of mouse and human mammary epithelial cells can be isolated on the basis of cell surface markers and subsets that are highly enriched for mammary stem (MaSC), luminal progenitor and mature luminal cells have been identified. These are functionally analogous across species and have highly conserved transcriptomes.
Lineage tracing is an important approach for assessing the stem cell hierarchy as it allows stem and progenitor cell fate to be studied in situ in the context of development, tissue maintenance and disease. Indeed, recent studies in the mammary gland have described unipotent stem cells that appear to control the different stages of development. We have combined lineage tracing with a novel three-dimensional (3D) imaging strategy to explore the relative contributions of stem and progenitor cells in the post-natal mammary gland. Newly generated transgenic strains harbouring lineage-specific gene regulatory regions are also being used to direct the expression of specific mammary oncogenes to discrete epithelial cell types to gain insight into cells of origin of breast cancer.
BIO: Jane Visvader is Joint Head of the Division of Stem Cells and Cancer and the Breast Cancer Laboratory at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. She carried out PhD studies in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Adelaide, and held subsequent positions as a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute, San Diego, and Research Associate and Instructor at the Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston. In 1998, she was appointed to the Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium as a group leader in the area of mammary gland development and cancer. Her Breast Cancer Laboratory focuses on understanding the epithelial hierarchy in normal and cancerous breast tissue, as well as identifying genes important for regulating mammary development.