Research Areas research areas


  • My laboratory aims to understand:
    (1) How certain vertebrate animals, like newts and axolotls, are capable of regenerating tissues and organs and,
    (2) How to induce regeneration in incompetent animals/tissues.

    Salamanders can regenerate parts of their eyes, brain, heart, and appendages among other organs/tissues. My lab focuses on eye tissue regeneration as it provides a very attractive model to study molecular and cellular aspects of tissue repair. The cells responsible for regeneration are part of the pigmented epithelium and have an amazing stem cell-like capability which enables salamanders to regenerate the lens and retina upon complete removal. The lab aims to unravel and leverage this mechanism for future regenerative therapies.

    Newt Lens Regeneration:
    Our main model system is newt lens regeneration. Following complete lens removal, pigmented epithelial cells residing in the dorsal iris proliferate, lose their pigments, and reprogram to lens epithelial cells. This results to the de novo regeneration of the missing lens.

    Outstanding questions:
    - How does the pigmented epithelium get activated?
    - How in vivo reprogramming is accomplished?
    - Why is this ability of the pigmented epithelium restricted to salamanders?
    - How to translate this mechanism in other animals?

    The lab utilizes a plethora of methods to understand tissue regeneration including: molecular and cellular biology techniques, histology, immunohistochemistry, RNA in situ hybridization, in vitro cell culture, cell imaging, virus transduction, generation of transgenic and knockout animals, CRISPR/Cas9, bioinformatics, bulk-tissue RNAseq and single-cell RNAseq.

    Perspective graduate and undergraduate students; Are you interested in:
    - Learning molecular, cellular, and histological techniques?
    - Learning how to edit the salamander genome?
    - Utilizing bioinformatics to tap into the salamander genome and transcriptome?
    - Exploring how salamanders regenerate organs and tissues?

    Contact me and join the lab.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2020 Eya2 promotes cell cycle progression by regulating DNA damage response during vertebrate limb regeneration.eLife.  9:e51217. 2020
    2020 Precise control of ion channel and gap junction expression is required for patterning of the regenerating axolotl limb.The International Journal of Developmental Biology.  64:485-494. 2020
    2017 Repeated removal of developing limb buds permanently reduces appendage size in the highly-regenerative axolotl.Developmental Biology.  424:1-9. 2017
    2017 Identification of regenerative roadblocks via repeat deployment of limb regeneration in axolotls.NPJ Regen Med.  2:30. 2017
    2016 Impaired Recall of Positional Memory following Chemogenetic Disruption of Place Field Stability.Cell Reports.  16:793-804. 2016
    2015 A robust transcriptional program in newts undergoing multiple events of lens regeneration throughout their lifespan.eLife.  4:e09594. 2015
    2014 Molecular signatures that correlate with induction of lens regeneration in newts: lessons from proteomic analysis.Human Genomics.  8:22. 2014
    2014 Plasticity for axolotl lens regeneration is associated with age-related changes in gene expression.Regeneration (Oxf).  1:47-57. 2014
    2013 A de novo assembly of the newt transcriptome combined with proteomic validation identifies new protein families expressed during tissue regeneration.Genome Biology.  14:R16. 2013
    2013 A microarray analysis of gene expression patterns during early phases of newt lens regeneration.Molecular Vision.  19:135-145. 2013
    2013 Loss of the six3/6 controlling pathways might have resulted in pinhole-eye evolution in Nautilus.Scientific Reports.  3:1432. 2013
    2013 Transcriptome analysis of Nautilus and pygmy squid developing eye provides insights in lens and eye evolution.PLoS ONE.  8:e78054. 2013
    2013 Transcriptome analysis of newt lens regeneration reveals distinct gradients in gene expression patterns.PLoS ONE.  8:e61445. 2013
    2012 Patterns of gene expression in microarrays and expressed sequence tags from normal and cataractous lenses.Human Genomics.  6:14. 2012
    2012 Conservation of the three-dimensional structure in non-homologous or unrelated proteins.Human Genomics.  6:10. 2012
    2012 Organ repair and regeneration: an overview.Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today Reviews.  96:1-29. 2012


    Year Title
    2017 Eye tissue regeneration and engineering.  523-541. 2017
    2014 Aging and regeneration in vertebrates.Current Topics in Developmental Biology. 217-246. 2014
    2014 Lens Regeneration.  131-141. 2014

    Teaching Activities

    Full Name

  • Konstantinos Sousounis