Charlotte Segnana

PhD student

Bachelor in Biology
Master in Biomedical Sciences – Environmental Health Sciences

Joined the group in November 2021

Research project: Neuronal control of gut regeneration: a (r)evolutionary question?

To support the intestines’ vital function its epithelial cells are renewed almost weekly, during a process called regeneration. We know that the gut’s function is influenced by signals from different intestinal cells, the microbiome and important nerve connections. However, the tissue dynamics during intestinal regeneration are still poorly understood, especially the communication and coordination of regenerative cues. But several studies indicate that the nervous system is involved in gut regeneration. In this project I investigate the sequence of cellular and physiological events during intestinal regeneration. Studying this process in a highly regenerative animal can help clarify those fundamental knowledge gaps. Planaria present an interesting model organism for studying the mechanisms and cells controlling self-renewal and differentiation during intestinal regeneration. To achieve this an interdisciplinary cooperation is set up between the Zoology group of the Center for Environmental Sciences (CMK) and the Neuroscience group of the Biomedical Research Institute
(BIOMED) at Hasselt University.

My favorite quote: “The road to health is paved with good intestines.”

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