Regenerative Biology

The Yamanaka lab’s discovery that forced expression of just four genes is sufficient to induce the dedifferentiation of fibroblasts was one of the major technical advances in stem cell biology in the past decade.  As incredible as this technical advance is, the induced dedifferentiation of adult tissues occurs naturally during urodele amphibian tissue regeneration without any external help.

Using the Mexican salamander (a.k.a., the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum) as a model system, we are investigating the control of limb regeneration at both a whole animal level as well as at a more biochemical level.  The ultimate goal is to identify the cues, which can induce post-mitotic cells to re-enter the cell cycle in an analogous manner to the generation of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs).  The potential therapeutic applications of induced, controlled tissue regeneration range from enhanced or “scarless” wound healing to superior treatments for tissue degenerative diseases (i.e., Parkinson’s Disease, degenerative arthritis).

Relevant Publications:

Flowers GP, Timberlake AT, Mclean KC, Monaghan JR, Crews CM.
Development 2014 141 10 2165-2171
Holman EC, Campbell LJ, Hines J, Crews CM
PLOS|One 2012 7 9 1-10
Campbell LJ, Suárez-Castillo EC, Ortiz-Zuazaga H, Knapp D, Tanaka EM, Crews CM
Dev Dyn 2011 240 7 1826-1840
Campbell LJ, Crews CM
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 2007 65 1 73-79