Dr David Tosh leads the Vertebrate Embryonic Development research group at the Department of Biology and Biochemistry , University of Bath. His lab is interested in the phenomenon of transdifferentiation (sometimes referred to as metaplasia). Transdifferentiation is defined as the conversion of one differentiated cell type to another. It belongs to a wider class of cell type conversions known as metaplasias that include conversions between stem cell types.
The Tosh group has developed a number of models for the transdifferentiation of pancreas to liver and the reverse. They use their studies of transdifferentiation and metaplasia to help:
- Understand the normal developmental biology of the cells that interconvert.
- Help identify transcription factors that could be used to reprogram stem cells for therapeutic transplantation.
- Gain insight into how certain cancers develop.