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Simona Chera

Associate Professor, NCMM Young Associate Investigator
  • E-mailSimona.Chera@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 97 12 62
  • Visitor Address
    Glasblokkene
    Haukelandsbakken 15
    5021 Bergen
    Room 
    6110, 6th floor
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7804
    5020 Bergen

Simona Chera obtained her PhD from Department of Genetics and Evolution, at the Faculty of Science, University of Geneva, in 2008, with a focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms acting in regeneration. Afterwards, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Pedro Herrera lab, characterizing two age-dependent regenerative mechanisms involved in spontaneous murine pancreatic β-cell regeneration (Thorel et al. 2010, Nature and Chera et al. 2014, Nature). In March 2015, she moved to Bergen, as a postdoctoral fellow in Ræder lab, working on a project involving the differentiation of pancreatic β-cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells, derived from fibroblasts donated by patients with Mature Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY). She is now an Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen and NCMM Young Associate Investigator. 

The main focus throughout her career has been the characterization of the cellular processes and molecular cues governing the balance between tissue regeneration and homeostasis. This has resulted in numerous publications.

Recently, she received several prestigious grants: the Novo Nordisk Foundation Excellence Project for Endocrinology Research, for characterizing and reversing β-cell senescence and proliferation quiescence in monogenic diabetes; and Young Talent Research Projects funded by the Research Council of Norway, aiming at characterizing the cellular and molecular basis of the gradual failure of insulin-producing β-cells in diabetes by using a novel in vivo strategy involving transplanted induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from monogenic diabetes patients (MODY patients). RONO2019 UEFISCDI collaborative grant with A. M. Vacaru at the Institute of biology and cellular pathology in Bucarest, to investigate therapeutic options to boost stress endurance and regeneration in β-cells. 

Selected publications:

  1. Legøy TA*, Vethe H*, Abadpour S, Strand BL, Scholz H, Paulo JA, Ræder H, Ghila LChera S. Encapsulation boosts islet-cell signature in differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells via integrin signaling. Scientific Reports 2020 Jan 15;10(1):414. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-57305-x [BioRxiv 2019 Oct 04, preprint doi: 10.1101/791442]
  2. Legøy TA, Mathisen AF, Salim Z, Vethe H, Bjørlykke Y, Abadpour S, Paulo JA, Scholz H, Raeder H, Ghila L, Chera S. In vivo Environment Swiftly Restricts Human Pancreatic Progenitors Toward Mono-Hormonal Identity via a HNF1A/HNF4A Mechanism. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 2020 Feb 25;8:109. eCollection 2020. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2020.00109
  3. Legøy TA, Ghila L, Vethe H, Abadpour S, Mathisen AF, Paulo JA, Scholz H, Raeder H, Chera S. In vivo hyperglycemia exposure elicits distinct period-dependent effects on human pancreatic progenitor differentiation, conveyed by oxidative stress. Acta Physiologica (Oxf) 2020 Apr;228(4):e13433. Epub 2020 Jan 8. doi: 10.1111/apha.13433. PMID:31872528
Selected publications
  • Cigliola, Valentina; Ghila, Luiza; Chera, Simona; Herrera, Pedro L. 2019. Tissue repair brakes: A common paradigm in the biology of regeneration: Concise review. Stem Cells. 38: 330-339. doi: 10.1002/stem.3118
  • Furuyama, Kenichiro; Chera, Simona; van Gurp, Leon; Oropeza, Daniel; Ghila, Luiza; Damond, Nicolas; Vethe, Heidrun; Paulo, Joao A.; Joosten, Antoinette M.; Berney, Thierry; Bosco, Domenico; Dorrell, Craig; Grompe, Markus; Ræder, Helge; Roep, Bart O.; Thorel, Fabrizio; Herrera, Pedro L. 2019. Diabetes relief in mice by glucose-sensing insulin-secreting human α-cells. Nature. 567: 43-48. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-0942-8
  • Cigliola, Valentina; Ghila, Luiza; Thorel, Fabrizio; van Gurp, Leon; Baronnier, Delphine; Oropeza, Daniel; Gupta, Simone; Miyatsuka, Takeshi; Kaneto, Hideaki; Magnuson, Mark A; Osipovich, Anna B; Sander, Maike; Wright, Christopher EV; Thomas, Melissa K; Furuyama, Kenichiro; Chera, Simona; Herrera, Pedro L. 2018. Pancreatic islet-autonomous insulin and smoothened-mediated signalling modulate identity changes of glucagon+ α-cells. Nature Cell Biology. 20: 1267-1277. doi: 10.1038/s41556-018-0216-y
  • Chera, Simona; Herrera, Pedro L. 2016. Regeneration of pancreatic insulin-producing cells by in situ adaptive cell conversion. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development. 40: 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2016.05.010

Methods in Medical Cell Biology - BMED320 ECTS credits: 25

Future medicine - ELMED303 ECTS credits: 3

Academic article
  • Show author(s) 2020. The core clock transcription factor BMAL1 drives circadian β-cell proliferation during compensatory regeneration of the endocrine pancreas. Genes & Development. 1650-1665.
  • Show author(s) 2020. In vivo environment swiftly restricts human pancreatic progenitors toward mono-hormonal identity via a HNF1A/HNF4A mechanism. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 1-14.
  • Show author(s) 2020. Encapsulation boosts islet-cell signature in differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells via integrin signalling . Scientific Reports. 1-16.
  • Show author(s) 2020. Bioinformatic analyses of miRNA-mRNA signature during hiPSC differentiation towards insulin-producing cells upon HNF4α mutation. Biomedicines. 1-20.
  • Show author(s) 2019. The effect of WnT pathway modulators on human iPSC-derived pancreatic beta cell maturation. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 1-13.
  • Show author(s) 2019. Reprogrammed cells display distinct proteomic signaturesAssociated with colony morphology variability. Stem Cells International. 1-16.
  • Show author(s) 2019. In vivo hyperglycemia exposure elicits distinct period-dependent effects on human pancreatic progenitor differentiation, conveyed by oxidative stress. Acta Physiologica. 1-16.
  • Show author(s) 2019. Diabetes relief in mice by glucose-sensing insulin-secreting human α-cells. Nature. 43-48.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Pancreatic islet-autonomous insulin and smoothened-mediated signalling modulate identity changes of glucagon+ α-cells. Nature Cell Biology. 1267-1277.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Novel protein signatures suggest progression to muscular invasiveness in bladder cancer. PLOS ONE. 1-15.
  • Show author(s) 2017. Probing the missing mature β-cell proteomic landscape in differentiating patient iPSC-derived cells. Scientific Reports. 1-14.
  • Show author(s) 2017. Converting adult pancreatic islet α cells into β cells by targeting both Dnmt1 and Arx. Cell Metabolism. 622-634.
Popular scientific article
  • Show author(s) 2019. Encapsulation boosts islet-cell signature in differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells via integrin signalling. bioRxiv - the preprint server for biology.
Academic literature review
  • Show author(s) 2019. Tissue repair brakes: A common paradigm in the biology of regeneration: Concise review. Stem Cells. 330-339.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Stress-induced adaptive islet cell identity changes. Diabetes, obesity and metabolism. 87-96.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Regeneration of pancreatic insulin-producing cells by in situ adaptive cell conversion. Current Opinion in Genetics and Development. 1-10.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

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