Associate Professor Pritinder Kaur
Head of CHIRI’s Epithelial Stem Cell Biology Group, Pritinder studies epithelium – the tissues that line the outer surfaces of organs and blood vessels throughout the body. Her primary focus is on understanding the cellular and molecular interactions between epithelial stem cells and their immediate microenvironment within body tissue.
These interactions drive cell replacement but are disrupted during injury and cancer, so by better understanding them, Pritinder and her team can provide insights into a range of issues, including tissue renewal and wound repair, the development of diseases, ageing and the formation of cancers.
Pritinder’s laboratory uses predominantly human skin as a model for its research, which can be extended to many other types of epithelia, including oesophageal, gastrointestinal and ovarian tissues.
Recent research by the team looked at the effect of two distinct dermal cell types on epithelial tissue regeneration and found that one of the cell types existing in human skin, called dermal pericytes, are capable of influencing the angle of cell proliferation of adjacent epithelial skin cells.
The findings bring us a step closer to developing new approaches for treating patients with severe skin defects, including burns and blistering diseases.
Since skin replacement and repair from injuries such as burns and diabetic ulcers is severely compromised in ageing skin, these findings have relevance for CHIRI’s research focus on adult diseases and for devising new ways to improve skin repair in elderly patients.
Research interests – Skin biology, stem cell biology, epithelial cell biology and cancer biology.