September 30, 2010
Competition between cells in the body contributes to the health of tissues, regulates the size of organs, and underlies the growth of tumors. In the case of the germ cells —- egg and sperm — or their precursors, the outcome of a competition not only affects the quality and quantity of germ cells, but also is inherited by the offspring, making it relevant to evolution.
With her new innovator award developmental biologist Diana Laird will study the mechanisms of competition between the precursors of egg and sperm in the embryo to shed light on cancer, where similar mechanisms are likely exploited by tumor cells. This competition among cells will need to be considered in stem cell therapy and other treatments that introduce cells into the body, Laird says.
Diana Laird, PhD is an assistant professor in residence in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine