Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska insitutet, Sweden
Andras Simon received his PhD degree at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Stockholm, 1999. During his PhD he identified the enzyme that catalyzes the rate limiting step in the generation of the chromophore of the eye, 11-cis retinol dehydrogenase. Subsequently, he performed his postdoctoral studies at University College London, 1999-2001 and learned there to work with aquatic salamanders. After that he joined the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Karolinska Institute and became one of the main players in the field of salamander regeneration. He has developed innovative experimental paradigms in order understand mechanisms of adult vertebrate regeneration in a cross-species comparative context.
The ability to regenerate lost body structures is present in diverse animal species ranging from simple organisms to complex vertebrates, such as salamanders. We aim to understand how animals with outstanding regenerative capabilities sense what and how much is missing in relation to the normal homeostatic state, and how they translate that information to the appropriate regenerative responses. We primarily study an aquatic salamander, the newt, which possesses exceptional regenerative capacities among adult vertebrates. In particular, we focus on how progenitor cells are created and characterize their developmental potential during regeneration. We carry out for cross-species comparisons with mammals in clinically relevant lesion/regeneration settings. The research might reveal fundamental aspects of cell fate determination that could contribute to the design of novel strategies both in regenerative. The prospective results may also contribute to better understand whether we should consider regeneration as an adaptive trait or as an epiphenomenon, without specific selection pressure, which has been lost in those species in which it is not apparent.
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