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Fernando  Camargo, PhD

Fernando Camargo
Camargo Laboratory
Research Center:
Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Stem Cell Program
Medicine Research
Hematology/Oncology Research
Hospital Title:
Principal Investigator
Academic Title:
Professor, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University
Research Focus Area:
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Research Overview

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The Camargo laboratory focuses on the study of adult stem cell biology, organ size regulation, and cancer. Organ size regulation: Despite fantastic progress in developmental biology research over the past decade, one aspect of development and tissue homeostasis for which very little is understood is how individual tissues reach and then maintain their appropriate size. Classic studies have demonstrated that tissues are able to "sense" their size and expand or shrink until a correct dimension has been reached. Nevertheless, the nature of the molecules and pathways involved in this process remains mysterious. The Camargo laboratory utilizes a variety of genetic, biochemical, and high throughput technologies to identify molecules and mechanisms that regulate this fascinating process in mammals. The Camargo lab is particularly interested in studying the function of an emerging highly conserved developmental signaling cascade, the Hippo pathway, and its effects on tissue size, homeostasis and cancer. Their previous work has demonstrated that Hippo signaling can be a very potent regulator of organ size in mice and has also provided a conceptual link between organ size regulation and stem cell activity through Hippo signals. These studies are now aimed at fully dissecting the components and the role of this cascade in somatic stem cells. For instance, the Camargo lab is currently performing genome-wide gain- and loss-of-function genetic screens to identify new regulators of Hippo signaling in mammals. Additionally, they have generated several animal models with mutations that can conditionally activate or deactivate Hippo signaling in our tissue of interest. These models will allow the Camargo lab the opportunity to gain an understanding of the plethora of roles Hippo signaling plays during development, tissue regeneration, and malignancy. Insight into these processes will shed light on fundamental aspects of tissue regeneration and facilitate the development of therapeutic approaches based on cellular transplantation. Characterization of hematopoietic stem cells in vivo: The Camargo laboratory also has a strong interest in studying the cellular and molecular biology of hematopoietic stem cells. Our studies focus primarily on the in vivo roles of transcription factors and microRNAs in stem cell fate decisions, differentiation, and malignancy. Additionally, we have recently developed a novel methodology for the tracking and monitoring of individual hematopoietic stem cells and their progeny, which they think will evolve into an entirely novel experimental paradigm to study complex populations of stem cells in situ. This model will be an invaluable resource in the years to come to understand the behavior, dynamics and heterogeneity of stem cells in an array of disease conditions.

About Fernando Camargo

Dr. Camargo joined Children's Hospital and the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department at Harvard University in 2009. Dr. Camargo was named a 2009 V Foundation Scholar and is the recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Most recently, he has received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science and the ISSCR’s Dr. Susan Lim Award for Outstanding Young Investigator.

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Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is one of the top research centers in the world for pediatric cancers and blood diseases. It brings together laboratory scientists and clinical researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital in a single program. We investigate pediatric cancers and non-malignant blood disorders from every angle—from examining cells under the microscope to tracking the effectiveness of current drug regimens using the most advanced molecular methods—so that we can create better treatments for children seen here and around the world.

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