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Dr. Jan Tchorz


Dr. Jan Tchorz
Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
Developmental and Molecular Pathways
Novartis Campus, WSJ.386.4.09
Basel, Switzerland

Phone +41 79 8634285

Jan Tchorz is research group leader in the Developmental & Molecular Pathways platform at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR). His group focuses on identifying signaling pathways, mechanisms and molecules regulating tissue stem cell activation and differentiation. Despite tremendous progress in developmental biology and stem cell research over the past decade, it is still not well understood how developmental pathways orchestrate tissue regeneration from epithelial stem cells. The liver is well known for its unique potential to regenerate. His group therefore studies liver regeneration in mice and man to identify global players of regeneration with the aim of translating novel findings into other tissues and eventually into therapeutic concepts. The group utilizes a variety of genetic, biochemical, and high-throughput technologies to identify molecules and mechanisms that regulate this process in mammals. Tissue stem cell lineage tracing allows tracing of cells during regeneration and the identification of novel stem cell markers. Gain- and loss-of-function mutants are analyzed to get mechanistic insights into tissue stem cell regulation and differentiation. Organoid-based assays and other cellular models are used to study developmental pathways in vitro. Collaborations with NIBR`s high-throughput technology group enable large-scale pathway genetic screens that reveal novel targets within individual pathways. Academic collaborations with the University Hospital Basel, University of Edinburgh and Harvard Medical School further allow the study of developmental pathways in patient samples and validation of our findings in man. Ultimately, his team aims to identify molecules and biologics with therapeutic potential in regenerative medicine to treat diseases with high unmet medical need.

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Selected publications related to stem cells:

  • Dill MT, Tornillo L, Fritzius T, Terracciano L, Semela D, Bettler B, Heim MH, Tchorz JS. (2013) Constitutive Notch2 signaling induces hepatic tumors in mice. Hepatology 57:1607-19.
  • Kinzel B, Pikiolek M, Orsini V, Sprunger J, Isken A, Zietzling S, Dubost V, Breustedt D, Valdez R, Liu D, Theil D, Mueller M, Dietrich B, Bouwmeester T, Ruffner H, Tchorz JS. (2014). Combined deletion of Lgr4 and Lgr5 impairs embryonic mouse development. Dev Biol. 390:181-90.
  • Agarinis C, Orsini V, Megel P, Abraham Y, Yang H, Mickanin C, Myer V, Bouwmeester T, Tchorz JS, Parker CN. (2015). Activation of Yap-Directed Transcription by Knockdown of Conserved Cellular Functions. J Biomol Screen 21:269-76.
  • Giachino C, Boulay JL, Ivanek R, Alvarado A, Tostado C, Lugert S, Tchorz J, Coban M, Mariani L, Bettler B, Lathia J, Frank S, Pfister S, Kool M, Taylor V. (2015). A Tumor Suppressor Function for Notch Signaling in Forebrain Tumor Subtypes. Cancer Cell 28:730-42.
  • Marti P, Stein C, Blumer T, Abraham Y, Dill MT, Pikiolek M, Orsini V, Jurisic G, Megel P, Makowska Z, Agarinis C, Tornillo L, Bouwmeester T, Ruffner H, Bauer A, Parker CN, Schmelzle T, Terracciano LM, Heim MH, Tchorz JS. (2015). YAP promotes proliferation, chemoresistance, and angiogenesis in human cholangiocarcinoma through TEAD transcription factors. Hepatology 62:1497-510.
  • Planas-Paz L, Orsini V, Boulter L, Calabrese D, Pikiolek M, Nigsch F, Xie Y, Roma G, Donovan A, Marti P, Beckmann N, Dill MT, Carbone W, Bergling S, Isken A, Mueller M, Kinzel B, Yang Y, Mao X, Nicholson TB, Zamponi R, Capodieci P, Valdez R, Rivera D, Loew A, Ukomadu C, Terracciano LM, Bouwmeester T, Cong F, Heim MH, Forbes SJ, Ruffner H, Tchorz JS. (2016). The RSPO-LGR4/5-ZNRF3/RNF43 module controls liver zonation and size. Nature Cell Biology 18:467-79.