Postdoc Spotlight - Dr. Alexandra Collin de l'Hortet

July, 2015



In what field was your PhD? How did you arrive at this specialization?

My PhD was in molecular biology and I worked on liver regeneration. My objective was to identify the molecular pathways leading to a defect of regeneration associated with fatty liver. At the University of Pittsburgh, I brought my background of a molecular biologist to work in the field of organogenesis in order to bring innovative approaches to study hepatic steatosis.

What is your current research project?

My work is to generate a human 3D liver with iPS-derived liver cells and to study human fatty liver diseases. I am making engineered human iPS cells carrying an inducible knock down for a gene involved in hepatic steatosis. In order to provide an optimal environment for these engineered iPS- derived liver cells to assemble into an organ, I am using the liver matrix scaffold to recellularize and create the 3D structure and function of a liver.

Tell us about a great experience or opportunity you’ve had in the past year.

I arrived from France to Pittsburgh last August. So far, everything has been a unique experience. In terms of research, I have been given more freedom in my project. I had the opportunity to become a leader in the lab and to manage several projects and people.

What do you hope the next step in your career path will be?

I am open to different career paths but my favorite option would be to continue in academia and eventually get a faculty position.

If not a scientist, what would you be?

Probably something related to drawing and creation.