Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Evan Manuel Figueiredo-Larsen

Evan Manuel Figueiredo-Larsen

Research Assistant

Current research

In the Grapin-Botton Laboratory, we recently established three-dimensional (3D) culture conditions that enable the efficient expansion of dissociated mouse embryonic pancreatic progenitors. By manipulating the composition of the culture medium we generate either hollow spheres, mainly composed of pancreatic progenitors, or, complex organoids which differentiate and spontaneously self-organize to resemble the embryonic pancreas. 

Our experiments reveal that the in vitro process recapitulates many aspects of natural pancreas development and also uncover new aspects, such as a dependency on the stiffness of the niche and on tensegrity. We also show that small groups of cells better maintain progenitor properties and expand more efficiently than single isolated cells, a phenomenon defined as the ‘community effect’.

Building on our initial molecular investigation, we will interrogate why the same cells evolve into self-organizing populations or stably expanding pancreas progenitors depending on the culture medium and how cells or tissues acquire heterogeneity.

Fields of interest

• Developmental Biology
• Pancreatic Differentiation
• Cell Heterogeneity
• Organogenesis
• Organ Culture
• Cell Organization
• Branching Epithelium
• Cellular Polarity
• Diabetes
• Beta Cell

ID: 38046797