Former Jasper Cooperation Group (until 2018)


Jasper lab studied how diverse inputs such as growth and stress signaling pathways (e.g. Insulin, JNK), metabolic processes and proteasome stress influence stem cells and how these inputs change during aging.

Furthermore, the lab was interested in the intrinsic controls that govern the unique identity of adult stem cells. The researchers have discovered several key players that control stem cell maintenance and differentiation and are continuing to expand our knowledge on the transcriptional network that governs adult stem cell identity.

They were collaborating with the groups Ori and Rudolph to find common mechanisms in organismal aging at the stem cell level. To address the research questions, the lab used a wide range of molecular, genetic, genomic and imaging techniques such as FACS, RNA-Seq, clonal analysis of stem cell division, confocal imaging and organoid culture.

Top left: Microscope image of the Drosophila adult midgut. The stem-progenitor compartment (ISC and EB) is marked by the gene escargot (Green). Red: Cell borders (E-Cadherin). Blue: DNA (DAPI). Loss of the gene Esg results in a complete loss of stem/progenitor identity in the adult intestine (Korzelius et al., EMBO Journal 2014). Current efforts focussed on using Drosophila genetics combined with transcriptomics and proteomics (in collaboration with the Allessandro Ori Group) to decipher how stem cell fate decisions are made in this adult stem cell model.
Bottom left: Adult stem cell function is influenced dramatically by stress and organismal aging. Increased tissue stress during aging leads to an expansion of the stem-progenitor cells (in green, esg>GFP) in aged (50-days old) Drosophila, a sign of stem cell dysregulation. In collaboration with the Rudolph and Ori groups, we were trying to decipher how different types of stress (e.g. ROS-mediated, Unfolded protein response) affect stem cell function in both the mammalian and fly system (adapted from Biteau and Jasper, Cell Stem Cell 2008).
Jasper: Microscope image of the Drosophila adult midgut


Prof. Dr. Heinrich Jasper

Heinrich Jasper

Photo: Buck Institute for Research on Aging