Welcome to the Oviedo Laboratory

Stem Cell Research


Our group investigates fundamental mechanisms of stem cell regulation to gain insights into tissue repair, host-pathogen interactions, and malignant cell transformation.


Stem cells are undifferentiated cells critical for embryonic development, adult tissue maintenance, and injury repair. Stem cells play an essential role in cancer and degenerative diseases, but the molecular basis regulating their behavior remains poorly understood. Research in our lab uses planarian flatworms as model organisms because they contain abundant adult stem cells called neoblasts that continuously divide, migrate, and differentiate to support cellular turnover and repair of damaged tissues.  Planarians possess a remarkable regenerative capacity and evolutionary conservation of cellular signaling pathways.

Planarian Neoblast
Planarian Stem Cell (Neoblast)
Blue stains DNA and the green signal shows the expression of a stem cell marker.
Gene expression in the intestine (green) and nervous system (red)
Tissue and organ visualization in planarians
Intestine (green) and nervous system (red)
Fungal Infection in planaria
Fungal Infection in planaria
Candida albicans (white signal)