Regenerative Biology

Newmark/Issigonis Lab

We use freshwater planarians as models to study regeneration, germ cells, and to help us understand parasitic flatworms.

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Principal Investigator Phil Newmark

Research in the laboratory seeks to understand why some animals can regenerate missing or damaged organs. To this end we study flatworms known as planarians that can regenerate entire new animals from tiny fragments of the body; this amazing ability relies on stem cells that the animal maintains throughout life. By studying the planarian we hope to understand how stem cells are regulated to produce missing tissues and organs in the context of a whole organism. Insights gained from our basic research on planarian biology have also led us to study parasitic flatworms, like schistosomes and tapeworms. As we learn more about how schistosomes infect their hosts and reproduce inside them, we hope to devise new strategies for controlling these devastating parasites that infect hundreds of millions of people in the developing world.

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