Valerie Gouon-Evans, PharmD, PhD
- ADJUNCT ASSISTANT PROFESSOR | Cell, Developmental & Regenerative Biology
From Liver Development to Cell Therapy for Liver Diseases
The Gouon-Evans lab is interested in understanding the liver development and regeneration in mice and human using pluripotent stem cells as a model system and cellular source for liver cell therapy.
Projects currently developed in the lab:
Understanding early hepatic specification of the endoderm in the mouse: crosstalk between endoderm and endothelial cells
Studies in animal models have shown that complex cell-cell interactions are required for hepatic specification and maturation during liver development. Namely, endothelial cells are observed very early around the hepatic endoderm, and in their absence the hepatic endoderm does not expand to form the liver bud. The relevance of the endoderm-endothelial cell interactions is not understood. Using the mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation system as well as the early mouse embryo, we recently demonstrated that the endothelial cell niche induces hepatic specification through dual repression of Wnt and Notch signaling. Ongoing studies aim at revealing further pathways involved in the endothelial cells – endoderm crosstalk required for hepatic specification.
Directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells toward functional mouse and human hepatocytes for cell Therapy in liver diseases
The use of ES or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell differentiation cultures to generate functional hepatic cells for cell therapy of liver diseases is still an ongoing challenge. Even though a growing literature has established efficient protocols to generate such cells in vitro, the pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatic cells remain inefficient at repopulating diseased livers. Our research is focused on identifying and modulating the molecular pathways required for successful liver regeneration following hepatic cell transplantation into a liver deficient mouse model.
For more information, please visit the Gouon-Evans Laboratory website.
The Gouon-Evans Lab is part of the Black Family Stem Cell Institute, the Departments of Developmental and Regenerative Biology and Medicine, Division of Liver Diseases.
Dr Gouon-Evans is a PF Applicant for the Mount Sinai Alcoholic Liver Diseases Research Center and for the Experimental Therapeutics Institute.