Colinda Scheele is a junior group leader at VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology as of June 2020. Colinda received a Master in Biomedical Sciences from Utrecht University. She performed her PhD research (cum laude) in the lab of Prof. Jacco van Rheenen (at the Hubrecht Institute (Utrecht) and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (Amsterdam)). During this time, she pioneered unbiased lineage tracing approaches, 3D whole organ imaging techniques and intravital microscopy strategies to study mammary stem cell dynamics. She identified the pubertal mammary stem cells and how they drive mammary gland branching morphogenesis (Scheele*, Hannezo* et al., 2017, Nature; Hannezo*, Scheele* et al., 2017, Cell; Corominas-Murtra*, Scheele* et al., 2020, PNAS, in press). Moreover, she studied how these mammary stem cells contribute to tumor initiation and progression. For this research proposal, Colinda was awarded a prestigious Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (BIF) PhD fellowship.
The Scheele laboratory focuses on morphogenesis, homeostasis, and tumorigenesis of epithelial organs ranging from a cellular level to the organ scale. More specifically, the Scheele lab studies how healthy tissue architecture and environment prevent or promote the different steps of tumorigenesis. To study these highly dynamic processes, the Scheele lab utilizes and develops state-of-the-art imaging approaches, including 3D whole organ imaging and 4D intravital microscopy using imaging windows. These imaging tools are complemented with (spatial) omics approaches, as well as quantitative modeling to further elucidate the mechanisms of tissue transformation.