Characterization of a novel cell population in the pancreas expressing the stem cell marker ΔNp63.

Project Details


The existence of pancreatic stem cells remains a controversy as only limited evidence is published. Our team has recently uncovered a yet unidentified cell population in the pancreatic duct. These cells are located near or inside the duct lining (a suggested pancreatic stem cell niche) and express ΔNp63. Importantly, cells with similar location and ΔNp63 expression in other organs are basal cells with (cancer) stem cell potential. We hypothesize that a comparable role could be attributed in the pancreas .

We specifically aim at functionally characterizing pancreatic ΔNp63+ cells in (1) embryonic mouse pancreas development and (2) in organoid-based models, derived from healthy human pancreas, with overexpression. The general aim is thus to characterise this population of ductal cells, a study that would have broad implications in the field of developmental biology, regenerative medicine and cancer
Effective start/end date1/11/2031/10/24


  • Pancreatic adult stem and progenitor cells
  • Master regulator genes
  • Developmental biology

Flemish discipline codes 2018-2023

  • Developmental biology
  • Stem cell biology
  • Histology


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