1:45 – 2:45 pm

1 CEU: Biomed

Understanding the Sources of Regenerative Capacity in Animals

Under normal physiological conditions, the functions of many organs depend on the continuous destruction and renewal of their cells. Equally remarkable is the fact that the adult tissues and organs of many organisms can be fully restored after amputation. In fact, metazoans have evolved a series of renewal and repair mechanisms to respond to both trauma and normal wear and tear. Such mechanisms are under tight regulatory control such that the form and function of tissues, organs, and systems can be maintained throughout life. As important as repair and restoration are to the survival of multicellular organisms, we know little about how these processes are effected and regulated at the cellular and molecular levels. Here, I will discuss how the study of two research organisms, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea and the African killifish Nothobranchius furzeri is beginning to shed light on the way adult animals regulate tissue homeostasis and the replacement of body parts lost to injury.

Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, PhD

Executive Director & Chief Scientific Officer Stowers Institute for Medical Research/Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado received a BS from Vanderbilt, a PhD from the University of Cincinnati and did post-doctoral work at the Carnegie Institution. In 2002, he joined the faculty of the University of Utah and was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2005. He joined the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in 2011 where he became Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer in 2020. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Latin American Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Priscilla Wood Neaves Endowed Chair in the Biomedical Sciences in 2021. His lab’s research focuses on understanding regeneration through the study of research organisms including flatworms, snails, and killifish