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Josien van Wolfswinkel, PhD, MSc

Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

Contact Information

Josien van Wolfswinkel, PhD, MSc

Office Location

  • Yale Science Building
    260 Whitney Avenue
    New Haven, CT 06511

Mailing Address

  • Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

    260 Whitney Avenue

    New Haven, CT 06511

    United States

Research Summary

My lab is interested in the regulation of pluripotent stem cells in vivo, and uses the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a model system.

Planarians have legendary regenerative capabilities due to a population of dividing cells called neoblasts, which are maintained throughout the entire lifespan of the animal. The neoblast population contains pluripotent cells, and is able to generate all cell types of the adult animal. We study the processes involved in the maintenance of pluripotency and the transition to lineage specification by combining molecular, cell biological, genetic, proteomic, and computational methods, as well as (single cell) sequencing and imaging techniques.

We are particularly interested in the function of several classes of non-coding RNAs that are enriched in the neoblast population and have the potential to coordinate shifts in gene expression. Furthermore our model system presents the remarkable opportunity to compare the adult pluripotent state and the embryonic pluripotent state within the same organism, which will result in an improved understanding of the requirements and the endogenous regulation of pluripotency.

Research Interests

Germ Cells; Molecular Biology; Regeneration; Developmental Biology; Cell Lineage; Genomics; Regulatory Sequences, Ribonucleic Acid; Pluripotent Stem Cells; Inheritance Patterns; Epigenomics; Cellular Microenvironment

Selected Publications