Advancing regenerative medicine by understanding the molecular mechanisms of axolotl blastemas

Crucial molecular mechanistic details about how axolotls regenerate limbs has yet to be revealed. Our laboratory has developed powerful tools to investigate these mechanisms,  as understanding limb regeneration in these animals can inform the way we approach regenerative medicine in humans.

Our key focus area is the molecular mechanisms at work in the axolotl blastema: a collection of dedifferentiated cells and stem cells derived from stump tissues that orchestrate limb regeneration. Mammals do not respond to most amputations by creating blastemas, and this difference may underlie their inability to regenerate.

Our goal is to reveal the basic biology at work in blastemas so that we can produce a framework for determining the role of these factors in mammals. We use retroviral infections, transgenesis, and knock-down approaches to analyze the function of genes we have identified in sequencing efforts.

Areas of Investigation

Microscopy image of an axolotl blastema

Systemic effects of amputation and their influence on localized regeneration

Microscopy image: green blobs, red lines

The molecular biology of how blastema cells are specified

Microscopy image of limb regeneration

Development of more robust genetic tools for studying regeneration in axolotls

Join our lab

Our laboratory welcomes collaborations with research groups with overlapping interests. If you are interested in collaborating with us, or would like to find out about trainee positions in the lab, please contact us.
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