Dr Julia Cordero
- Senior Research Fellow (Epigenetics)
Julia was born and raised in Argentina as the first daughter of and Italian mother and Lebanese father. She studied Biology at the Universidad Nacional de San Luis and, in 2000, she decided to move to the United States, where she started her scientific career at Washington University in Saint Louis, first as a Research Assistant in Internal Medicine, followed by a PhD in the laboratory of Ross Cagan where she began her journey with Drosophila as a model to study tissue patterning during development.
In 2009, Julia joined the laboratory of Owen Sansom in the U.K. as a post-doctoral fellow funded by Marie Curie, EMBO fellowships to venture into the world of mice to study intestinal regeneration and cancer. In 2013, Julia received a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, which was a stepping stone into scientific independence.
Towards the end of 2014, she established her research group at the Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre in Glasgow, currently funded by a Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship.
Julia’s laboratory combines Drosophila and mouse model systems to understand the processes involved in stem cell-driven intestinal homeostasis and disease. They also study systemic roles of the intestine, the interactions between tumours and the immune system, and the impact of tumours to distant tissues in the host.
Outside of the lab, Julia enjoys travelling, physical exercise and, most of all, spending time with her children and husband.
Local and systemic functions of the adult intestine in health and disease
Research in my laboratory is devoted to understanding how intestinal stem cells (ISCs) adapt and respond to changes in their micro and macro-environment, how the intestine controls whole-body homeostasis and how intestinal dysfunction can lead to broader organismal instability.
We use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a primary research model system due to its unparalleled genetic power and amenability for multi-organ in vivo studies.
1) Tissue intrinsic mechanisms regulating stem cell proliferation in the adult intestine: We are using cell-specific transcriptomics of fly intestinal stem/progenitor cells (ISCs/EBs) followed by genetic and functional studies in flies and mammalian models to identify conserved mechanisms driving intestinal regeneration and tumourigenesis.
2) Systemic mechanisms regulating stem cell proliferation in the adult intestine. Very little is known about the role of non-intestinal tissue in intestinal homeostasis and regeneration. We are combining multi-organ transcriptomics, with genetic screens and functional studies in Drosophila to identify novel interorgan communication programs driving intestinal regeneration.
3) Whole-body functions of the intestine in health and disease. Disruptions of intestinal homeostasis—such as those caused by damage, inflammation and tumourigenesis—have profound organismal implications, including alterations in central nervous system-controlled behaviours. The mechanistic basis of such phenomena are largely unknown. We are taking a multidisciplinary approach in Drosophila to understand the mechanisms leading to multiple systemic manifestations of intestinal disorders, including disruptions of the gut-brain axis.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Drosophila as a model to study mechanisms of cancer-driven behavioural changes
Cancer Research UK
2019 - 2021
- Regulation of stem cell function during tissue homeostasis and transformation
2015 - 2021
- Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship
The Royal Society
2013 - 2018
- 2013 - 2018: University of Glasgow - Leadership Fellowship
- 2013 - 2018: Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship