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Roel Nusse wants to understand the role of stem cells in regulating growth, development, and integrity of animal tissues. Nusse and his team study the role of Wnt proteins – signaling molecules essential for regulation of stem cell differentiation and self-renewal. Working in vivo and in cell culture, the team studies multiple different organs and stem cell types, trying to identify common principles, and then extends these investigations to cancer and injury repair. They seek to understand the impact of physiological changes, such as those occurring during hormonal stimuli, injury, or tissue degeneration, on stem cell signaling and function.