Kevin Dzobo

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Cape Town Component and Division of Medical Biochemistry and MRC Oesophageal Cancer Unity, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Kevin Dzobo, holder of Ph.D. degree, is a Lead Scientist in stem cell biology. Dzobo is interested in embryonic and mesenchymal stem cell biology, cancer biology, and the role of the microenvironment in cells behavior focusing on stem cell niche. He is also interested in developing viable approaches to differentiate stem cells into tissue lineage-specific cells in a controlled manner for regenerative medicine applications. Dzobo obtained his Doctorate degree from the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. As a graduate student at the University of Cape Town and the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Dzobo studied the role of the fibroblast-derived extracellular matrix in influencing fibroblasts behavior. These studies stimulated his interests in the role of the microenvironment in cellular behavior. As a Postdoctoral Researcher at the ICGEB Cape Town Component he studied the role of the microenvironment in the determination of stem cell fate. His research showed that human embryonic stem cells mimic the development of the definitive endoderm in the embryo when cultured on a fibroblast-derived matrix. This same study showed that embryonic stem cells self-organize into embryoid bodies or organoids that have the right tissue patterning to develop into several endoderm-derived tissues, mimicking their in vivo counterparts. His research involves the determination of the role the microenvironment plays in stem cell and cancer cell behavior. Recently he has shown that Wharton’s Jelly derived mesenchymal stem cells together with an extracellular matrix induced apoptosis in oesophageal and breast cancer cells via a p21-mediated mechanism.

Biography Updated on 20 June 2016

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