March 5 2018

1:00 pm 1100 TLSB

Jingli Cao
Department of Cell Biology
Duke University

Uncovering Mechanisms of Natural Heart Regeneration in Zebrafish


Understanding how and why tissue regeneration occurs has the potential to shape therapeutic strategies for many human diseases. Zebrafish regenerate tissues like an injured heart or amputated appendage. As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kenneth Poss, I am addressing central questions that relate broadly to the regulation of regenerative capacity by studying components of heart regeneration in zebrafish. The overarching goal of my future laboratory is to understand how innate tissue regeneration is regulated at the cellular and molecular levels. Using the highly regenerative epicardium, the outermost mesothelial layer of the heart, as a model, I will: 1) Define mitogens that underlie regenerative capacity. 2) Deconstruct the contribution of cellular heterogeneity to complex tissue regeneration. 3) Explore the biological implications of polyploidy that arise during tissue regeneration. My studies will derive ways to precisely manipulate cell populations for enhancing tissue regeneration, which may ultimately form the basis for therapeutic repair of human tissues with inadequate regenerative capacity like the heart.