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Kenneth Poss

Cell Biology
(919) 681-8457
Research Interest: 
Developmental biology
Research Summary: 
Genetic approaches to organ regeneration in zebrafish
Research Description: 

Development of therapies that stimulate the regenerative capacity of human organs would represent a medical panacea. By contrast with mammals, salamanders and fish have a tremendous capacity for regeneration. Thus, we have a lot to learn from lower vertebrate creatures. Surprisingly, little is known about the molecules that stimulate and maintain regeneration, and even the cellular events that define regeneration are poorly understood. Through use of the popular laboratory model system, zebrafish, we can apply molecular genetic tools to dissect regeneration.

Following our discovery of heart regeneration in zebrafish, we have been identifying key cellular and molecular events responsible for this spectacular phenomenon that is all but lost in adult mammals. We are also studying how amputated fins regenerate, through large-scale screens for mutants in appendage regeneration and molecular analysis of how positional identity is maintained during regeneration.

Sexually dimorphic fin regeneration in zebrafish controlled by androgen/GSK3 signaling.
Nachtrab G, Czerwinski M, Poss KD.
Curr Biol. 2011. 21:1912-7.

The regenerative capacity of zebrafish reverses cardiac failure caused by genetic cardiomyocyte depletion.
Wang J, Panáková D, Kikuchi K, Holdway JE, Gemberling M, Burris JS, Singh SP, Dickson AL, Lin YF, Sabeh MK, Werdich AA, Yelon D, Macrae CA, Poss KD.
Development. 2011. 138:3421-30.

tcf21+ epicardial cells adopt non-myocardial fates during zebrafish heart development and regeneration.
Kikuchi K, Gupta V, Wang J, Holdway JE, Wills AA, Fang Y, Poss KD.
Development. 2011. 138:2895-902.

Retinoic acid production by endocardium and epicardium is an injury response essential for zebrafish heart regeneration.
Kikuchi K, Holdway JE, Major RJ, Blum N, Dahn RD, Begemann G, Poss KD.
Dev Cell. 2011. 20:397-404.

Advances in understanding tissue regenerative capacity and mechanisms in animals.
Poss KD.
Nat Rev Genet. 2010. 11:710-22.