The research in the Intini Laboratory, or the "intinilab," as we like to call it, focuses on the biology of the adult skeletal stem cells. We use mouse genetics and in vivo imaging to describe the location of these stem cells within the intramembranous bone, their contribution to tissue repair, the effects of aging on these cells, and the molecular mechanisms that control their "stemness.” Similar to what Dr. Yamanaka has described for the iPS cells, we believe that a limited number of genes expressed by adult skeletal stem cells confer the stemness quality to these cells. With the final goal of translating our research into clinically useful information we therefore aim to identify these genes and understand the influence that cellular location or aging has on their expression.
Another project at its initial stages at the intinilab focuses on the role of skeletal stem cells and cancer stem cells in development and maintenance of osteosarcoma. In this project we aim to trace the stem cells and identify mechanisms that may prevent metastasis, the ultimate cause of death in children with osteosarcoma.
Current laboratory members:
Jue Hou, Ph.D., Postdoctoral fellow