Laurence Hoareau and Manuel Carrasco joined the lab

We are welcoming two new postdoctoral fellows to our research group.

Laurence Hoareau is a scientist in cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry. She has been working for 10 years in the field of adipose tissue inflammation linked to obesity-associated diseases. Her work is essentially based on human primary culture of adipose tissue, adipocytes and stromal cells, which lead to around 20 publications. Laurence is from Reunion Island (French overseas department in Indian Ocean). She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from University of Reunion Island, her Master degree from University Pierre & Marie Curie (Paris, France) and her Ph.D in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Reunion Island.

Manuel Carrasco recently obtained his PhD from the Andalusian Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine Centre in Seville, Spain. Manuel’s research was focused on how transcriptional networks control pancreas and liver development and function by using mouse models (conditional knockout mice, reporter transgenic lines, cell culture, etc.). More specifically, Manuel studied the contribution of GATA transcription factors to pancreas organogenesis, regeneration and function. Manuel obtained his Bachelor degree from University of Seville and his Master degree from University Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla, Spain).


Laurence Hoareau and Manuel Carrasco enjoying our first “get-together” dinner


Postdoctoral Fellow position available

We are seeking a dedicated postdoctoral fellow with interest in the cellular and molecular biology of diabetes to join our team.

The main aim for the position is to seek novel insights into the cellular and molecular mechanism of pancreatic β-cell differentiation. The successful candidate will apply a combination of characterisation methods (i.e. immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, functional assays, next generation RNA and DNA sequencing, epigenetic methods) to study pancreatic cells differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSC), both  in vitro and in vivo context (murine models).

For further information about the project and the position, please contact Professor Helge Ræder (PI), phone: +47 55975263, e-mail:

For applications, please follow the instructions at:

Constantin Berger joined the lab

ConstantinBerger_Ulriken (16)Before coming to Bergen, Constantin Berger was a Bachelor student in the research group of Marco Metzger, in Wuerzburg.  During his bachelor thesis, he worked on the differentiation of mESC to intestine cells (title: “Time-dependent characterization of intestine cells derived from murine embryonic stem cells in vitro”). He is currently doing the master program “Biomedical Science” at the Julius-Maximilians Universitity in Wuerzburg (due date September 2016).

He applied and received an ERASMUS scholarship for 3-months student apprentice in our laboratory. Constantin would like to gain a deeper insight into different fields of tissue engineering and, therefore, he is very interested in the research work with iPS cells. Also he was very excited to work with decellularized biological matrices, which was his main work subject at the institute in Wuerzburg.

Constantin will stay in Bergen until the end of October, working on a shared project between our group and Kamal Mustafa’s.

Luiza Ghila joined the lab

DSCN0100Before coming to Bergen, I was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer (maître-assistant) in the laboratory of Prof. Pedro Herrera, at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, in Switzerland. In the past 4 years in this position, my research focused on pancreatic β-cell regeneration and cell plasticity, and recently, we were able to uncover a second age-dependent regenerative mechanism involved in spontaneous murine pancreatic regeneration (Chera, Baronnier, Ghila et al. (2014) Nature). Furthermore, we characterized the signals governing islet cell conversion upon massive β-cell ablation in adult mice, results that are now part of another manuscript in preparation (Thorel*, Ghila* et al., in preparation). Moreover, I have implemented, adapted and systematically used a technique for transplanting mouse and human islets or purified mouse and human islet cells (FACS) into the anterior chamber of the eye of NSG host mice, as previously described in scientific literature. With this minimally invasive technique, transplanted islets/sorted-cells engrafted on the iris are accessible for recurrent live imaging and analyses. Using this technique I was able to visualize the ablation of β-cells and α-to-β conversion phenomena, as well as modulating this process using local or general administration of different compounds.

Simona Chera joined the lab

DSC00735Before coming to Bergen, Simona was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer (maître-assistant) in the laboratory of Prof. Pedro Herrera, at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, in Switzerland. During the past 6 years in that position Sim have been able to perform cutting-edge research in the field of pancreatic β-cell regeneration and cell plasticity, leading to islet cell type interconversion phenomena. As result, they were able to characterize two age-dependent regenerative mechanisms involved in spontaneous murine pancreatic regeneration (Thorel., et al. 2010 Nature and Chera et al. 2014 Nature) Briefly, they found that prepubescent mice always recover from diabetes after near-total β-cell ablation, however through a completely novel cellular mechanism: the massive recruitment and dedifferentiation of another hormonal cell type, the somatostatin producing δ-cells, to a very early progenitor stage. These cells re-enter the cell cycle and recapitulate embryonic development to become insulin producers. Moreover, by characterizing the molecular differences between the adult and the juvenile regenerative mechanisms, it was possible to pharmacologically trigger the extremely efficient juvenile regenerative program in adult diabetic mice. These results are part of a manuscript published last october in Nature (Chera et al., 2014).