2019 MWLC Lecture "Exploring Heterogeneity of Human Skin Cells"
Professor Fiona Watt gave the Ming Wai Lau Lecture entitled Exploring Heterogeneity of Human Skin Cells on 6 November in Hong Kong co-hosted by CUHK.
Advances in single cell technologies such as RNA-sequencing provide new opportunities to understand the cellular heterogeneity of different tissues. The Human Cell Atlas is a global initiative to create a comprehensive reference map of all human cells in the body as a basis for understanding human physiology in health and disease. As part of this initiative my lab and others are collaborating to study human skin. Our analysis is providing new insights into the nature of the epidermal stem cell compartment and the functional heterogeneity of dermal fibroblasts. Complemented by mechanistic studies of how cells transition between different states, we are starting to gain new understanding of this fascinating tissue.
Fiona Watt obtained her DPhil from the University of Oxford and carried out postdoctoral research at M.I.T., Cambridge, USA. She established her first lab at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London and then moved to the London Research Institute. From 2006 to 2012 she was Deputy Director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute and Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research, University of Cambridge. She moved to King’s College London in September 2012 to take up her current position as the Director of the Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine. Since April 2018 Fiona has been on secondment as the Executive Chair of the Medical Research Council in the UK. The major research interest of Fiona Watt’s lab is in the interplay between internal and external factors in the regulation of stem cell fate.