Valerie Horsley

Associate Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and of Dermatology

Research Summary

Our laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control stem cell activity and function within epithelia, the tissues that line our internal organs and outer surfaces. We use the mouse as a genetic model system to study how adult stem cells within epithelial tissues maintain tissue homeostasis, wound healing and can contribute to cancer formation. The primary epithelial tissue we use is the mammalian skin, which contains multiple stem cell populations and forms a complex tissue that protects our bodies from external pathogens and loss of internal bodily fluids. Mammalian skin is an excellent model to study developmental and stem cell biology because the epidermis and its appendages are in a constant state of regeneration, which is actively sustained by tissue stem cells.

Our vision is to understand the cellular and molecular regulation of epithelial tissue development and regeneration. We focus on both the intrinsic transcriptional as well as the extrinsic signaling mechanisms that control these processes.

Selected Publications

  • A. Tadeu and V. Horsley. 2013. Notch signaling regulates p63 expression in the developing surface ectoderm. Development. In press.
  • B. Schmidt and V. Horsley. (2013) Intradermal adipocytes regulate fibroblast function during skin wound healing. Development. 140(7): 1517-27.
  • A. F. Mertz, Y. Che, S. Banerjee, J. Goldstein, S. Revilla, C. Niessen, M. C. Marchetti, E. R. Dufresne and V. Horsley (2013). Intercellular adhesions organize epithelial cell-matrix mechanics. PNAS. 110(3):842-7.
  • E. Festa, J. Fretz, R. Berry, B. Schmidt, M. Rodeheffer, M. Horowitz and V. Horsley. (2011) Adipocyte precursor cells contribute to the skin stem cell niche. Cell. 146(5): 761-771.
  • V. Horsley, A. O. Aliprantis, L. Polak, L.H.Glimcher and E. Fuchs. (2008). NFATc1 balances quiescence and proliferation of skin stem cells. Cell. 132(2):299-310.
  • V. Horsley, D. O’Carroll, R. Tooze, Y. Ohinata, M.Saitou, T. Obukhanych, M. Nussenzweig, A. Tarakhovsky and E. Fuchs. (2006). Blimp1 defines a novel progenitor population that governs cellular input to the sebaceous gland. Cell. 126(3):597-609.

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