Annelies Wouters

PhD student

Master of Science: Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Joined the group in October 2014

Research project: Stem cell defence mechanisms against carcinogenic stress in a regenerative model

Stem cells are pivotal throughout development and the adult life, being able to self-renew and give rise to all types of differentiated cells. With great power comes great responsibility and as such, stem cells must harbor specific mechanisms to ensure genetic stability. I am currently focussing on how pluripotent stem cells can respond so adequately to carcinogenic stress in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, a flatworm with a large pool of pluripotent stem cells and a concomitantly low tumor incidence. I am interested in both stem cell intrinsic factors and triggers originating from the niche, which together give the animal a remarkable resilience.

My favorite quote: “The world is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” -Eden Phillpotts

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