Fast Five: Meet Dr. Vince Tropepe

Fast 5 features quick, personal profiles of our research team members. This week: Dr. Vince Tropepe, Associate Professor, Cell and Systems Biology, University of Toronto.

1. What are you reading for pleasure right now?

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard.

2. What is the most worthwhile non-monetary investment you’ve made?
My kids

3. What advice would you give your younger self?

Find time to travel as much as you can and see the world before life gets too busy.

4. What prompted you to get into regenerative medicine?

I have always been interested to learn how a simple sheet of cells turns into a complex brain during development, and in particular how stem cells facilitate this process. Many of the same fundamental mechanisms are at work during regeneration, but with seemingly more checks and balances to limit how much new tissue is produced, often of a specific cell type. You don’t make entire new organs during regeneration, but only replace what’s needed. How do stem cells know the difference? Understanding the fundamental biology that underlies this question is what fascinates me. If we can answer this question, the implications for advancing medicine are huge, and this also motivates my research.

5. If you could buy one new toy for the lab right now –if money was not an issue –what would you get and why?

We have access to excellent microscopy equipment in a core facility, but I would love to have my own super-resolution microscope for live-cell imaging. Our research is leading us to ask questions about how protein, RNA and DNA molecules interact and are dynamically distributed at the subcellular level during a process like neurogenesis. It would be awesome to have the exquisite detail offered by super-resolution microscopes to study these processes in live cells with greater precision