Malin Parmar heads a research group focused on developmental and regenerative neurobiology at Lund University in Sweden. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
At this year’s Hydra summer school I spoke to Malin about how she got started in stem cell research, what she’s working on at the moment, and her view of the prospects for treating Parkinson’s disease with stem cells.
I always wanted to contribute to scientific progress in stem cell research. Stem cells are helping us to understand degenerative disease and cancer, and a deep understanding of their basic biology is a pre-requisite for clinical application. My PhD project, at Strasbourg University in France, was about the plasticity (adaptability to change) of brain stem cells in fruit flies. After graduating, I decided to get deeper knowledge, and joined Prof. Uri Frank’s team in 2013, attracted by the model organism used to understand the basic biology of stem cells.
In this blog, Vanessa De Mello (Hippo pathway enthusiast and PhD student in the Musculoskeletal group, University of Aberdeen) explores the names behind signalling pathways that control stem cells.
During growth and development the cells that make up our body need to be precisely controlled. If a ‘stop signal’ is constantly given cells will not grow and divide. But if the lights are continually green, too many cells will grow leading to problems like cancer. It is the ‘developmental signalling pathways’ that control this and give our cells instructions on when to grow, divide, or die.