Brief history of Cecilia and the start of The Cell Fate Lab
Cecilia Sahlgren obtained her PhD at Åbo Akademi University focusing on the role of
intermediate filaments as signaling orchestrators in cell fate decisions. She did her
postdoctoral training at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, where she worked with cell
signaling regulating cell function in stem cells and cancer cells. After returning to
Finland she established the Cell Fate Lab at the Turku Centre for Biotechnology 2008.
2013 she moved to Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, as an
assistant professor in Biomedical Engineering. 2016 she was appointed professor in
cell biology at Åbo Akademi, Turku, Finland. She remains affiliated Eindhoven
University of Technology.
The Cell Fate Lab research interest
Our research is focused on the fundamental molecular mechanisms, that guide cell fate and cell organization in stem cell differentiation, tissue formation and in disease such as cancer. Together with collaborators we utilize such knowledge to develop material-based medical technologies to control these mechanisms in regenerative and cancer therapies. Coordination of cells through molecular cell signaling pathways is crucial for the formation of functional tissues and signaling is often deregulated in diseases such as cancer, allowing cells to acquire abnormal functions and pathological remodeling of tissue architecture. The physical, mechanical and chemical stimuli of the microenvironment also influence cell signaling and cell fate decisions during development and disease progression.
The Cell Fate Lab tries to find answers to 3 key questions:
- How are signaling mechanisms making cell fate decisions based on input from cell autonomous mechanisms and the environment?
- How does these mechanisms influence stem cell differentiation and how do deregulated mechanisms link to disease?
- How can cell signaling be modulated for therapeutical purposes in order to control cell fate in cancer and regenerative therapy?