Liver Development and Regeneration

Ober Group

The Ober group aims to understand how a functional organ is built from a population of self-organising progenitor cells. In particular, which morphodynamic processes control initial progenitor migration and subsequently their differentiation into epithelial unites organized into a functional architecture. 

The ability of the liver to carry out the many diverse metabolic functions essential for body homeostasis depends on its specialized cell types and their organization within the tissue. In the embryo, progenitor cells differentiate into mature organs. This includes the transition from migratory progenitor cells into functional epithelial units consisting of polarized hepatocytes and biliary ducts. This is accompanied by dramatic changes in tissue morphology, which are driven by dynamic cell rearrangements and cell- and tissue interactions coordinated with the growth of the whole organ and embryo. How individual progenitor cells assemble a functional organ in the developing embryo is a fundamental question and remains poorly understood. Whether similar morphogenetic cell behaviours are crucial for tissue regeneration after injury is another key problem.

The Superheroes in Liver Regeneration

Learn what happen to the liver when damaged and how this knowledge could be translated in the future to help healing liver diseases and improve patients quality of life.