Valentina Greco, Ph.D., and her lab focus on understanding how stem cells and their environment contribute to organ regeneration, and how dysregulation of growth signals leads to cancer. The Greco lab established the ability to visualize and manipulate stem cells and their environment in an intact mammal using two-photon microscopy and laser ablation. By visualizing stem cells in vivo and identifying signaling pathways that regulate normal skin and skin cancer growth, insights were provided into tissue regeneration, which relies upon the coordinated activation of resident stem cells and their environment, and into key signaling pathways controlling dynamic stem cell behaviors and decisions.
Greco is Associate Professor in the Genetics and Dermatology Departments, and a member of the Yale Stem Cell Center and Yale Cancer Center at the Yale School of Medicine. She was born in Palermo, Italy and received her B.S. at the University of Biological Science, Palermo, her Ph.D. at Heidelberg University, and her Post-doctoral Associate at Rockefeller University. She has received several awards including the American Skin Association Scholar Research Award (2011), the Dermatology Foundation Research Award (2012), the American Society of Cell Biology Award: WICB Junior Award for Excellence in Research (2014), and the International Society for Stem Cell Research: Young Outstanding Award (2014).
The twenty-first Cserr Lecture is given in memory of Helen F. Cserr, Ph.D., a distinguished scientist and researcher who worked at the MDI Biological Laboratory for twenty summers. Helen’s brilliant mind, the high quality of her research, her ability to attract top-notch students, and her consummate graciousness made her an invaluable member of the MDI Biological Laboratory community. The Laboratory appealed to Helen at many levels as well: the richness of the collaborations formed with other Laboratory scientists, the natural beauty surrounding the Lab, and most of all the usefulness of the marine models she found for studying the topic which most interested her, the blood-brain barrier.