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.