CanCell Seminar: Irene Miguel-Aliaga "Sex differences in organ plasticity and inter-organ communication"

CanCell is very happy to finally being able to present a physical seminar - with distinguished professor Miguel-Aliaga from MRC, UK. 

Miguel-Aliaga is a Professor at Imperial College London and MRC Investigator at the MRC LMS, London (UK). She was elected to the EMBO YIP programme in 2012, to EMBO in 2017, and to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019. She is the recipient of an ERC Advanced Grant and, previously, an ERC Starting Grant.       

The Miguel-Aliaga lab has been exploring important research topics such as inter-organ communication and nutrient sensing, which are processes known to become dysfunctional during tumorigenesis and that highly overlap our research interests.

Her talk will focus on the sex differences in organ plasticity and inter-organ communication:


“I am interested in the plasticity of adult organs: how and why organs that we commonly regard as fully developed change in size and/or function in response to envionmental or internal challenges.

In the lab, we mainly use the Drosophila intestine and its neurons because they allow us to explore organ plasticity from an integrated perspective. We investigate how an organ senses its internal milieu and the environment (e.g. nutrients, microbiota), how its adult progenitors respond by either maintaining or resizing the organ, and how its different cell types (epithelial, muscle, neural) communicate to achieve coordinated, organ-level remodelling.

Our recent work has revealed intestinal sex differences in metabolic communication between the intestine and reproductive tissues, which impact food intake, gamete production and tumour susceptibility.

Investigating how the intestine senses and responds to nutrients, we also discovered an intestinal zinc sensor that promotes Tor signalling to sustain food intake and developmental growth.

I will present some of this work, as well as ongoing efforts to explore whether how broadly applicable our findings might be using mouse and human models.”


Published Nov. 4, 2021 9:01 AM - Last modified Nov. 4, 2021 9:03 AM