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Extracellular Signalling and Cell Fate

Gopal Group

Our Research

The extracellular matrix is a dynamic environment where a plethora of structural proteins, ligands, enzymes, inorganic ions, and secreted factors are stored. These molecules, collectively referred to as the matrisome, regulate cell fate by providing extrinsic biochemical and biomechanical signals to cells. Therefore, cell fate is often a consequence of the entire matrisome and its interactions. We aim to understand the mechanisms underlying the matrisome’s control of cell fate in an organism. By using a combinatorial approach involving both in vivo and in vitro models as well as the advanced genetic and biochemical tools in our repertoire, we examine how matrisome landscape can control cell fate.


  1. To elucidate the extracellular landscape controlling cell fate in vivo. 
  2. To identify the roles of inorganic elements during stem cell development.
  3. To investigate the single molecular switches defining the identity of cells. 


The progress of stem cell models has facilitated the understanding of development and disease over the last decade. Current stem cell models that possess different types of extracellular matrix, have improved our understanding of cell fate vastly. These models need to be modified continuously for each cell type, as many proteins and polysaccharide components are absent in engineered or decellularized ECM. In our research, we use an in vivo model, where the extracellular matrix is maintained in its native state. By using this approach, we will explore how extracellular molecules collectively regulate cell fate. Understanding how these molecules control cell fate in vivo will provide us with the tools to improve current cell culture models used in stem cell research.

List of publications


(name linked to profile in Lund University research portal)

Sandeep Gopal,

Principal Investigator, sandeep [dot] gopal [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (sandeep[dot]gopal[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Jasmeet Kaur Virdi

Postdoc, jasmeet_kaur [dot] virdi [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (jasmeet_kaur[dot]virdi[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Johanna Farley,

PhD Student, johanna [dot] farley [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (johanna[dot]farley[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Nur Aqilah Diyanah Binte Amran,

Research Assistant, aqilah [dot] amran [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (aqilah[dot]amran[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Madeleine Schwalbe,

Project Assistant, madeleine [dot] schwalbe [dot] 2557 [at] student [dot] lu [dot] se (madeleine[dot]schwalbe[dot]2557[at]student[dot]lu[dot]se)

Anasthasia Nathania Widjaja

Student, anasthasia_nathania [dot] widjaja [dot] 5840 [at] student [dot] lu [dot] se (anasthasia_nathania[dot]widjaja[dot]5840[at]student[dot]lu[dot]se)

Sandeep Gopal

Sandeep Gopal

Principal Investigator
PhD, Researcher
Department of Experimental Medical Sciences
Lund Stem Cell Center
BMC C12, Lund University
Sölvegatan 19,

221 84 Lund, Sweden

Phone: +46 79 049 7405
Mail:sandeep [dot] gopal [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Profile in Lund University research portal