Adult stem cells are found in living organisms. They are undifferentiated cells found throughout the body after development. Their main role is to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are located by a process of cell division to replenish dying cells. Discovering the mechanisms behind this will provide invaluable information to medical science.


The primary research aim of the Hobbs group is to identify and define the critical molecular mechanism underlying adult stem cells by using germline stem cells from the testis as a model system. The Hobbs group aims to uncover the self-renewal capabilities of adult stem cells – this will be important to the fields of fertility, tissue regeneration and cancer.

  • Identify and characterise novel molecular mechanisms underlying adult stem cell function using germline stem/progenitor cells from the mouse testis as a model system
  • Define downstream targets of Plzf in SPCs and their role in SPC function, which is achieved using a combination of mouse genetics, flow cytometry analysis and in vitro SPC culture techniques.

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Hobbs, R.M.,J.M. Polo

Reprogramming can be a transforming experience

Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Mar 6;14(3):269-71. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.02.003.

Hobbs RM, Fagoonee S, Papa A, Webster K, Altruda F, Nishinakamura R, Chai L, Pandolfi PP

Functional Antagonism between Sall4 and Plzf Defines Germline Progenitors.

Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Mar 2;10(3):284-98. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.02.004.

Hobbs, R.M., Seandel, M., Falciatori, I., Rafii, S. & Pandolfi, P.P

Plzf regulates germline progenitor self-renewal by opposing mTORC1.

Cell. 2010 Aug 6;142(3):468-79. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.06.041.

Seandel M1, James D, Shmelkov SV, Falciatori I, Kim J, Chavala S, Scherr DS, Zhang F, Torres R, Gale NW, Yancopoulos GD, Murphy A, Valenzuela DM, Hobbs RM, Pandolfi PP, Rafii S

Generation of functional multipotent adult stem cells from GPR125+ germline progenitors.

Nature. 2007 Sep 20;449(7160):346-50.

Costoya JA, Hobbs RM, Barna M, Cattoretti G, Manova K, Sukhwani M, Orwig KE, Wolgemuth DJ, Pandolfi PP.

Essential role of Plzf in maintenance of spermatogonial stem cells. Nat Genet 36, 653-9 (2004)

Nat Genet. 2004 Jun;36(6):653-9. Epub 2004 May 23.

Hobbs RM, La HM, Mäkelä JA, Kobayashi T, Noda T, Pandolfi PP.

Distinct germline progenitor subsets defined through Tsc2-mTORC1 signaling.

EMBO Rep. 2015 Apr;16(4):467-80. doi: 10.15252/embr.201439379. Epub 2015 Feb 19. Impact Factor: 9.055. Ranking: 22/289.