Injury results in a range of regenerative responses, varying from scarring to perfect regeneration. This is highly dependent on the tissues damaged and importantly the organism in which this damage occurred. We are focused on understanding why some species are able to regenerate complex structures, such as limbs, whereas others species (e.g. humans) are limited in their regenerative ability of such structures. We approach this question from an immunological perspective, trying to understand how the immune response in highly regenerative animals primes and produces a productive regenerative response.
- To understand the function of immune cells in promoting and permitting regeneration
- To develop tools to investigate immune and regenerative responses in a range of species
Immune cells rapidly respond to damage and are central in dictating whether a response results in a scar or regeneration. A detailed understanding of how regenerative outcomes are achieved in highly regenerative organisms will provide us with a framework of how to create pro-regenerative responses in humans. In particular, harnessing the immune system via immunomodulatory therapies will provide a means to control immune cells to promote regeneration.