State-of-the-Art Plenary Lecture (TT)
Tudorita Tumbar, PhD, Cornell University
Tudorita (Doina) Tumbar’s research explores the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms implicated in cell fate choice and stem cell activity within tissues. Understanding how progenitor and differentiated cells function in normal tissue morphogenesis and homeostasis reveals how deregulation of growth and differentiation can lead to diseased tissues and cancer. Using mouse skin as a model system her laboratory employs genetic and genomic approaches, developing and implementing new mouse genetic tools and opening-up new direction of investigation in stem cell biology.
Focusing on hair follicle and epidermal stem cells, her research team examines both stem cell-intrinsic (e.g. transcription factors, histone epigenetic marks, RNA-Pol II pausing) and cell-extrinsic (e.g. signaling between stem cells and neighboring cells) mechanisms that govern stem cell behavior during development, homeostasis and injury repair. Professor Tumbar received her post-doctoral training in stem cell biology at Rockefeller University in New York City (2004), her PhD in cell biology and chromatin folding at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2000), and her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at University of Bucharest (1993). She is a regular NIH grant reviewer and is a member of the editorial board at the EMBO Journal. She is the founder and first chair of a Gordon Research Conference series on Epithelial Stem Cell Niches.