Mammalian Tissue Regeneration – from Mice to Reindeer

Jeff Biernaskie, PhD
Associate Professor
CIHR New Investigator
Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary

As mammals have evolved, the capacity for tissue regeneration has largely been selected against in favor of rapid repair. Although effective in preventing pathological infection, the consequence of repair is formation of fibrotic scar and organ dysfunction. Improving our understanding of the cellular and molecular signals that incite fibrotic scar versus scar-less regeneration may lead to development of novel therapies that enable regeneration of whole tissues or organs. Here I will describe several fascinating mammalian animal models and experimental approaches that we employ to study stem cell biology and skin regeneration.



About the Speaker…

Jeff Biernaskie completed his BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge, his PhD in Neuroscience at Memorial University and postdoctoral training in Stem Cell Biology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He is an Associate Professor in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Calgary. He is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and holds the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing.  Dr. Biernaskie’s lab is interested in understanding how specialized niche cells modulate stem cell behavior and how these cellular interactions ultimately influence tissue homeostasis and regeneration. His lab is particularly interested in understanding the diverse functions of dermal fibroblasts within within the skin and adult hair follicle with the ultimate goal of exploiting these cells to improve tissue regeneration following injury.

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