The focus of our laboratory is to understand the molecular determinants underlying cell reprogramming and hematopoietic specification. In humans, the multiple differentiated cell states are normally stable and inherited through cell division. Under certain conditions, cell fate can, however, be modified or reversed. Cell reprogramming can be achieved experimentally in different ways, including nuclear transfer, cell fusion or expression of transcription factors. The emergent ability to directly reprogram somatic cells into desired hematopoietic cell-types is opening avenues to the discovery of new therapies for immune and blood diseases. Our approach focuses on Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) for their remarkable regenerative potential and Dendritic Cells (DCs) as key mediators of immunity. Aims:
Our research will increase the understanding of the intrinsic determinants underlying hematopoietic progenitor and effector cell developmental specification. This knowledge may allow the re-creation of these unique cell identities from any human cell. Ultimately, we believe that our research will contribute to personalized hematopoietic regeneration by employing human programmed HSCs for patient-specific cell transplantation. In addition, DC reprogramming is allowing us to develop new ways to modulate the immune response. This represents a unique opportunity to merge the field of cell reprogramming and cancer immunotherapy and may result in the development of powerful new therapeutics for cancer and other diseases resulting from a dysfunctional immune system.
FCT project PTDC/BIM-MED/0075/2014. Mechanisms underlying hemogenic induction in human fibroblasts. (2016-2019). FCT, Portugal. PI: Filipe Pereira.
Generating dendritic cells by direct cell reprogramming.
FCT project. Reconstructing the program of gastric and colorectal cancer stem cells.(2018-2021). FCT, Portugal. Co-PI: Filipe Pereira.
FCT Project 02/SAICT/2017. Generating antigen presenting cells by direct cellular reprogramming. (2018-2021). FCT, Portugal. PI: Filipe Pereira.
FCT PAC consortium CANCEL_STEM. Estaminalidade das células do cancro: um desafio e uma oportunidade para avançar no tratamento em Oncologia. (2017-2019). FCT, Portugal. Co-PI: Filipe Pereira.