Research

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

How blastema cells keep from differentiating

These projects delve deeply into the renewal of blastema cells. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam.
Microscopy image: green blobs, red lines

How blastema cells keep track of their lineage

We investigate the molecular memory of blastema cells, including their ability to keep track of which cells they came from and what types of daughter cells they can produce. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.
Microscopy image of limb regeneration

Which tissues support the essential elements of blastema cells

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Microscopy image of salamander digits

Genetic tools for investigating the molecular mechanisms of blastemas

An important part of our work is developing genetic tools that allow us to investigate the molecular mechanisms underpinning limb regeneration in axolotls. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

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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