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Marcos García-Ojeda

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Marcos Garcia-Ojeda
Title: Associate Teaching Professor
Phone: (209) 228-6986
Office: COB 1, 341
Location: S&E 1, 325
  • Ph.D., 2002 — Stanford University
  • M.A., 1992 — University of California, Santa Cruz
  • B.S., 1990 — University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Research Interests:

Stem cells give rise to and maintain many tissues. During its life, a stem cell can follow one of three fates:

  1. Self renew, preserving a constant pool of stem cells in the tissue
  2. Differentiate into another cell type
  3. Die

Signals from the environment — either from other cells or soluble factors — can activate a genetic program within the stem cell, inducing its differentiation into a particular cell type. The activation of a genetic program is mirrored by the silencing of other alternative genetic programs. In this way, the stem cell reaches a point where it is irreversibly committed to a particular cell fate.

Using the hematopoetic (bone marrow) stem cell as a model, Professor Garcia-Ojeda's lab studies the microenvironmental and genetic signals required for stem cell function and lymphocyte development. In particular, he is interested in the role of the transcription factor GATA-3 in the commitment and differentiation of stem cells into T cells.