Devanjali Dutta, PhD – Postdoctoral researcher, Hubrecht Institute, Hans Clevers Lab
Devanjali is currently pursuing her Postdoctoral research in the lab of Prof. Hans Clevers (Netherlands), where she is using human tissue derived 3D organoid cultures to study host-microbiome interactions, infectious diseases and cancer. She received her PhD from University of Heidelberg (Germany) in 2015 from the lab of Prof. Bruce Edgar. During her PhD, she generated methods to isolate and profile rare cell types and tumor cells from the fruit fly midgut and generated the transcriptome profiles of the cells of the adult Drosophila intestinal epithelium.
Disease modeling and cancer therapy in stem cell-derived 3D organoid systems
While the significance of the microbiome is unprecedented, a thorough study to dissect the role of individual populations of the natural gut microbiome in healthy and diseased states is still lacking. Currently available in-vitro models of the human intestine have certain limitations, e.g., lack of immune cells or microbiota. Therefore, systems closely mirroring the human intestine are needed to gain a better understanding of intestinal dysfunction, host – pathogen interactions and for the development of more effective therapies for cancer. It is important to establish a patient derived, fast and efficient system which would mimic the in-vivo architecture in humans and permit precise studies on interactions of the gut microbes with the epithelium and the immune cells. The in-vitro 3D “mini-gut” system developed in the Clevers lab displays many important functions of the normal intestinal epithelium. Along with the developed toolbox for the analysis of these organoids (including FACS-based cell sorting, confocal imaging, RNA Sequencing, mass-spec proteomics and CRISPR-Cas9), it has proven to serve as a powerful system to investigate regulatory and pathological mechanisms of the intestinal epithelium on a molecular level.
To this end, we are developing a triple co-culture system of epithelial cells, immune cells and microbes to better understand the functional role of the gut microbiota, enabling personalized healthcare for the benefit of patients suffering from GI tract diseases. It might be possible in the future to determine the microbiome composition of cancer patients and provide personalized immunotherapy drug treatment.
-Organoids can be used for studying cancer and hereditary diseases, as well as in the examination of host cell–microorganism interactions.
-Patient-derived organoids may enable personalized medicine.
Identify categories of individuals at risk of acquiring HDV infection.
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