UCL Prostate Cancer Research Centre
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At the conference Room,
Prostate Cancer Research Centre,
Charles Bell House, 3rd Floor
We hold regular research talks and seminars on Tuesdays at 12.30 pm. Why not join us to share your thoughts with us.
We organise a wide range of fundraising events -
why not get involved!
Dr Maria Notara
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Prostate Cancer Research Centre
Research Department of Urology
Charles Bell House
67-73 Riding House Street
Tel: 020 7679 9113 (ext. 99113)
Stem cells, cancer research
Dr David Holmes and Professor Tom Duke, London Centre of Nanotechnology
Professor Chris Mason, Department of Biochemical Engineering
Dr Ivan Wall, Department of Biochemical Engineering
Professor Julie Daniels, Institute of Ophthalmology
- 2010-present: Joined PCRC to work on the involvement of prostate stem cells in Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)
- 2005-2010: Worked in understanding the cellular and anatomical properties of the limbal niche (UCL Institute of Ophthalmology)
- 2001-2005: PhD thesis in biocompatibility and hemocomatibility of novel chitosan-alginate copolymers
The term Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) is describing a pathological process which is characterised by gradual enlargement of the prostate gland and contributes to lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in ageing men. Among other symptoms, BPH causes obstruction of the urethra, leading to a sense of incomplete voiding of the bladder, weak urine flow and recurring bladder infection (cystitis). Although BPH is not a malignant condition like prostate cancer, the associated symptoms are bothersome and can affect the patient’s quality of life, often despite undergoing current lines of treatment.
Multiple causes are believed to contribute to the development of BPH. The action of a population of stem cells residing in the gland is believed to be one of the causes, termed as ‘the stem cell hypothesis’. These are ‘immature’ cells which can change into different cell types and play a vital role to the maintenance of the tissue into a steady state. However, according to the stem cell hypothesis, their number is increased in BPH tissues and they may contribute to the abnormal growth of the gland that is associated with the condition.
This project is focusing on defining and
characterising the recently described stem cell population residing in prostate
stroma, namely the mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). The aim is to identify
proteins specifically produced by these MSC which can act as ‘markers’ which
will allow us to identify and better understand the properties and function of
these cells as well as serve as pharmaceutical targets for the therapy of BPH.
Candidate markers are investigated in prostate cells from human tissue and a
mouse model. By using cell separation techniques we are able to isolate cells
that express these proteins and evaluate their properties in terms of their
ability to divide giving rise to multiple cell generations (self-renewal),
their proliferation and how they respond to androgen hormones.
Shortt AJ, Galatowicz G, Calder V and Daniels JT IL6 and the Human Limbal Stem Cell Niche: a mediator of
epithelial-stromal interaction Stem Cell Research 2010
Shortt AJ, Harris AR and Daniels JT, The impact of age in the structure and
phenotype of the Human Limbal Stem Cell Niche, Age, accepted
M, Schrader S and Daniels JT, The porcine limbal epithelial stem cell
niche as a new model for the study of transplanted tissue engineered human
limbal epithelial cells, Tissue Engineering, 2011 (5-6):741-50
M, Alatza A, Gilfillan J, Harris AR, Levis
HJ, Schrader S, Vernon A,
Daniels JT. In sickness and in health: Corneal epithelial stem cell biology,
pathology and therapy. Exp Eye Res.
2010 (90): 188-195
Notara M and Daniels JT. Characterisation and functional features of a spontaneously transformed Human Corneal Epithelial cell line with stem cell like characteristics. Brain Research Bullettin. 2010 (81):279-286 *
Deshpande P and *Notara M, Bullett N, Daniels JT,
Haddow DB, MacNeil S. Development of a surface modified contact lens
for transfer of cultured limbal epithelial cells for ocular surface diseases.
Tissue Engineering, Part A, (2009) 15(10): 2889-2902 *joined first authors
Notara, M, Scotchford, CA, Grant, DM, Weston, N, Roberts, GAF. Cytocompatibility and Haemocompatibility of a novel Chitosan-Alginate gel System. J Biomed Mater Res A. (2008) 8.
M, Daniels JT, Biological principals and clinical potentials of Limbal
Epithelial Stem Cells. Cell and Tissue Research. (2008) 331(1):135-43.
Bullett NA, Deshpande P, Haddow DB, MacNeil S and Daniels JT. Plasma polymer coated surfaces for serum-free
culture of limbal epithelium for ocular surface disease. J. Mat. Sci. Mat. Med. (2007) 18(2):329-38.
M, Haddow DB, MacNeil S, Daniels JT. Use of Human Fibroblasts in a
Xenobiotic-Free Culture System for Human Limbal Epithelial Stem Cells.
Regenerative Medicine 2007 2(6):919-27
M, Hernandez D, Mason C and Daniels JT, Characterisation and Functionality of Corneal Epithelial Linages derived
by Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells, Regenerative Medicine, accepted
Page last modified on 26 jan 12 13:16