Bartscherer: Tissue Regeneration

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The Bartscherer group seeks to understand the mechanisms of successful tissue regeneration to promote this process in poorly regenerating mammals.

Injury is a severe threat to all animals. While some can fully restore lost body parts, others can only prevent further damage by mere wound healing, often associated with scar formation. Which molecular mechanisms determine whether regeneration is induced or not is a key question for regenerative medicine. Using different regenerative organisms, such as planarian flatworms and African spiny mice (Acomys) we aim at identifying the pathways to successful regeneration. We use comparative approaches between these animals and their poorly regenerating relatives to unveil, which roadblocks need to be overcome in order to promote regeneration. Our efforts also include tool development, such as transgenic methods, to further establish our favourite animals as regeneration models, and in vitro methods, such as organoid technology that will complement in vivo regeneration experiments.

PublicationsView all publications

Generic wound signals initiate regeneration in missing-tissue contexts.

Owlarn S, Schmidt D, Klenner F, Rabert F, Tomasso A, Vogg MC, Reuter H, Weidinger G, and Bartscherer K

Nature Commun 8, 2282


Integrins are required for tissue organization and restriction of neurogenesis in regenerating planarians.

Seebeck F, März M, Reuter H, Vogg MC, Mildner K, Zeuschner D, Rabert F, and Bartscherer K

Development 144, 795-807


Beta-catenin-dependent control of positional information along the AP body axis in planarians involves a Teashirt family member.

Reuter H, März M, Vogg MC, Eccles D, Grifol-Boldu L, Owlarn S, Wehner D, Adell T, Weidinger G, and Bartscherer K

Cell Rep 10, 253-265


SILAC proteomics of planarians identifies Ncoa5 as a conserved component of pluripotent stem cells.

Böser A, Drexler HCA, Reuter H, Schmitz H, Wu G, Schöler HR, Gentile L, and Bartscherer K

Cell Rep 5, 1142-1155


Other publications

PlanMine 3.0 - improvements to a mineable resource of flatworm biology and biodiversity

Rozanski A, Moon HK, Brandl H, Martin-Duran J, Grohme M, Hüttner K, Bartscherer K, Henry I, and Rink JC

Nucleic Acids Research


CCDC151 mutations cause Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia by disruption of the Outer Dynein Arm docking complex formation.

Hjeij R, Onoufriadis A, Watson CM, ..., Bartscherer K, Burdine RD, Lo CW, Omran H, Mitchison HM

Am J Hum Genet 95, 257-274


The head regeneration transcriptome of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

Sandmann T, Vogg MC, Owlarn S, Boutros M, and Bartscherer K (2011).

Genome Biol 12(8):R76


Wnt/Frizzled signaling requires dPRR, the Drosophila homolog of the prorenin receptor.

Buechling T, Bartscherer K, Ohkawara B, Chaudhary V, Spirohn K, Niehrs N, and Boutros M

Curr Biol 20, 1263-1268


Cell Cycle Control of Wnt Receptor Activation.

Davidson G, Shen J, Huang Y, Su Y, Karaulanov E, Bartscherer K, Hassler C, Stannek P, Boutros M, and Niehrs C

Dev Cell 17, 788-799


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Group leader

Kerstin Bartscherer

Kerstin Bartscherer is a group leader at the Hubrecht Institute. Using both excellent invertebrate (planarian flatworms) and mammalian regenerators (African spiny mice) as experimental models, in combination with comparative approaches, the group aims to unveil the mechanisms that facilitate tissue regeneration. The ultimate goal is to utilize those mechanisms for promoting tissue regeneration in poorly regenerating mammals, such as normal mice, and eventually humans.

Scientific training and positions


Group members

Kerstin Bartscherer

Group Leader

Rutger Wielink


Tim Koopmans


Elke Rovers


Divyanshu Malhotra


Henriette van Beijnum

PhD Student

Vanessa Disela

PhD Student

Antonio Tomasso

PhD Student

Show all group members

Open positions for PhD students and Postdocs

We are currently recruiting highly motivated PhD students and postdocs for investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of regeneration using planarians and/or African spiny mice. Some projects involve RNAseq-based methods, such as single-cell RNAseq and Tomo-Seq; candidates should therefore have a background (or at least interest) in computational analysis methods. Other projects involve iPS technology and generation of organoids, as well as the establishment of transgenic methods for planarians and African spiny mice.

If you are interested in discussing available projects, please email Kerstin Bartscherer, including a CV and contact information for 2-3 references.