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Departments / Molecular & Cellular Biosciences / Faculty Research Interests / Cellular Signaling, Regenerative Biology, and Neuroscience

Cellular Signaling, Regenerative Medicine, and Neuroscience Research Overview

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With the advancement of modern medicine, U.S. life expectancy has increased from 39.4 years in 1860 to 78.9 years in 2020. As humans age, our built-in ability to repair or regenerate injured tissues declines. Considering that in the U.S. more than 50 million people are over the age of 65 years, age-related decline in cognitive functions and tissue regeneration capacity presents a major challenge to public health. To meet this growing need, regenerative medicine and neuroscience have become rapidly growing fields in biology in the past 20 years. Work in regenerative biology spans from studying the underlying molecular mechanisms that govern tissue repair by endogenous stem cell pools to engineering approaches to generate stem cell-based therapies.  Neuroscience research has evolved into a multi-disciplinary field, in which experts in molecular biology and cellular signaling have made significant contributions, focused on better understanding of the central nervous system. Further advancement in neuroscience will require the continued collaboration of experts in neuroscience and regenerative biology to develop therapies aimed at remodeling the brain in response to injuries, cognitive impairment, and other neurological disease. As part of the Strategic Plan for the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), Drs. Agnes Luo, Katherine Vest, Igal Ifergan, and Xiaowei Hou were recently recruited to strengthen the neuroscience and regenerative biology research initiatives in MCB. Their expertise on animal models of neurological disease, human induced pluripotent stem cells, and tissue regeneration in the nervous system and skeletal muscle builds upon the work of established investigators in the Department, Drs. Rhett Kovall, William Miller, and Thomas Thompson, whose research focuses on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of cellular signaling pathways that play critical roles in brain function and regenerating tissues. Since the recruitment of Drs. Luo, Vest, Ifergan, and Hou, the MCB Department has established more extensive collaborations with both basic science and clinical departments with the goal of improving tissue repair and regeneration in multiple systems.

More information on faculty with research interests in cellular signaling, regenerative biology, and neuroscience can be found here.

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