The Copenhagen Bioscience Snapshots are a series of seminar events organized by PhD students of the Copenhagen Bioscience PhD programme since 2019. The seminars host speakers from different scientific backgrounds aiming to connect a broad audience of scientists. Stay tuned for more seminars in 2022.
Prof. Edward Chouchani: A newfound mechanism of metabolite regulation over cell cycle and proliferation
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, USA
Research in the Chouchani Lab focuses on deciphering molecular mechanisms that drive metabolic disease, using this information to develop targeted therapeutic strategies. His lab combines mass spectrometry and targeted pharmacological approaches in vivo to understand how mitochondrial redox metabolism controls physiology in clinically informative mouse models of obesity and diabetes.
Energy-generating metabolic reactions produce highly reactive chemical byproducts. Although these reactive chemicals can damage cell components, Chouchani lab discovered that they also serve to regulate the activity of some cellular proteins. His lab has developed a method that allowed them to identify more than 9,000 proteins in 10 different mouse tissues that contain sites that can be modified by these reactive chemicals. Combining these resources with cutting-edge techniques in chemical biology, physiology, pharmacology, and protein chemistry, will allow them to identify compounds that similarly target the vulnerable sites in two major classes of proteins: those that generate inflammatory signaling molecules, and a second that controls energy expenditure and plays a role in obesity and diabetes. After maximizing the potency and specificity of these compounds, they will test how effective they are at inhibiting the activity of these target proteins in mice. This work can lead to promising new drugs for treating metabolic and inflammatory disorders.
Prof. Ori Bar-Nur: Harnessing muscle stem cells for regenerative medicine and cellular agriculture
Dept. of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
In vitro propagation of myogenic stem cells for muscle fiber production is highly attractive for basic research, regenerative medicine and cellular agriculture purposes. Current approaches to produce muscle fibers primarily rely on the differentiation of myogenic progenitors termed myoblasts. These cells oftentimes exhibit limited proliferation and differentiation capacities, rendering efforts to find alternative measures to expand and differentiate muscle stem cells highly desirable.
In his talk, Prof. Ori Bar-Nur will discuss the lab’s recent efforts to understand the molecular determinants that govern the conversion of fibroblasts into induced myogenic progenitor cells (iMPCs), and how this knowledge can be utilized to generate improved cellular-based models for muscle diseases and potential cell replacement therapy. In the second part of his talk, he will present their ongoing efforts to translate the understanding of the mouse system to devise a similar strategy to enhance the proliferation and differentiation capacities of bovine myogenic progenitors for cultivated meat purposes. The lab’s current work aims to utilize multi-omics tools to dissect how medium composition and small molecule treatment augment the differentiation capacity of bovine myogenic progenitors. Notably, this understanding may prove useful for the generation of enhanced myogenic cell lines and cost-effective media for potential in vitro meat production.
The event will take place on Sep 8, 15:30-18:30 (CET) – on Holst Auditorium, Panum, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3, 2200 København.
The event is free and open to all – register here.