Tag: Reddien Lab

Illustration of scientist looking at tree of life including acoel and planarian

Small worm muscles up to reveal ancient body patterning mechanism during regeneration

October 30, 2017

Whitehead Member Peter Reddien has determined that a major function of muscle in planaria and acoels--a small regenerative marine worm auspiciously located on the evolutionary tree as an outgroup to all the rest of the Bilateria--is to serve as the source of instructive positional information for instructing regeneration.

Photo: Three-banded panther worm

Three-banded panther worm debuts as a new model in the study of regeneration

April 24, 2014

The lab of Whitehead Institute Member Peter Reddien is introducing the scientific community to the three-banded panther worm (Hofstenia miamia), a small organism with the ability to regenerate any missing body part. As a model, Hofstenia could help further our understanding of regeneration, how its mechanisms have evolved over millennia, and what limits regeneration in other animals, including humans. 

Images of the activity of the follistatin gene in a planarian after its head and tail were cut off

Tissue loss triggers regeneration in planarian flatworms

September 3, 2013

By investigating regeneration in planarian flatworms, Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a mechanism—involving the interplay of two wound-induced genes—by which the animal can distinguish between wounds that require regeneration and those that do not.

Slide showing planarian muscle cells expressing 19 position control genes

In regenerating planarians, muscle cells provide more than heavy lifting

August 15, 2013

By studying the planarian flatworm, a master of regenerating missing tissue and repairing wounds, the lab of Whitehead Institute Member Peter Reddien has identified an unexpected source of position instruction: the muscle cells in the planarian body wall. This is the first time that such a positional control system has been identified in adult regenerative animals.

Whitehead Member and new Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator

Whitehead Member Peter Reddien named an HHMI Investigator

May 9, 2013

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) announced today that Whitehead Member Peter Reddien is among 27 biomedical researchers nationwide to be appointed as HHMI investigators.

Image: Proposed Skolkovo Institute buildings

Whitehead Members to help establish international stem cell research center

October 1, 2012

Three Members of the Whitehead Institute faculty are poised to play significant roles in the establishment of a new stem cell research center based at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skolkovo Tech) in suburban Moscow.

Images of planarians, one with eye spots and one missing eye spots due to repression of the ovo gene

Planarians offer a better view of eye development

August 2, 2012

Whitehead Institute researchers have created a complete catalog of genes active in the planarian eye. Several identified genes are known to have versions that play a role in the vertebrate eye, including genes involved in eye development and others associated with age-related macular degeneration and Usher syndrome, a disorder that causes progressive retinal degradation.

Microscope image of cNeoblast colonies in an adult planarian

Planarian genes that control stem cell biology identified

March 1, 2012

Despite their unassuming appearance, the planarian flatworms in Whitehead Institute Member Peter Reddien's lab are revealing powerful new insights into the biology of stem cells—insights that may eventually help such cells deliver on a promising role in regenerative medicine.

Ancient gene gives planarians a heads-up in regeneration

May 12, 2011

A little-studied gene known as notum plays a key role in the planarian’s regeneration decision-making process, according to Whitehead Institute scientists. At head-facing (anterior) wounds, the gene notum acts as a dimmer switch to dampen the Wnt pathway—an ancient signaling circuit that operates in all animals—and promote head regeneration.

Image of a planarian

Pluripotent adult stem cells power planarian regeneration

May 12, 2011

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that the planarian flatworm regenerates missing tissues by using pluripotent adult stem cells. Until now, scientists could not determine whether the dividing cells in planarians, called neoblasts, are a mixture of specialized stem cells that each regenerates specific tissues, or if individual neoblasts are pluripotent and able to regenerate all tissues.

Image showing wntP-1 concentration at planarian wound site

Figuring out the heads or tails decision in regeneration

September 14, 2009

Wounds trigger regeneration in planaria, a flatworm commonly studied for its regenerative capabilities. Until now, no molecular connection between wounding and the onset of the regeneration of an entire head or tail in planaria had been identified.

Whitehead Member Peter Reddien named HHMI Early Career Scientist

March 26, 2009

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded Whitehead Member Peter Reddien an Early Career Scientist appointment, a six-year funded position that allows him to pursue his innovative biomedical research.

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