The underlying cause of many chronic and degenerative diseases is the inability of our tissues to regenerate in the face of stress, disease, and injury. Humans, like most mammals, regenerate poorly, and our limited ability for tissue repair worsens as we age. Yet many other animals, such as salamanders, zebrafish, and planaria, are robust regenerators. They can grow new limbs and replace their own damaged heart, kidney, or lung tissue.
Scientists in the Kathryn W. Davis Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine study these champions of regeneration, with which we share the majority of our genes. They are discovering small molecules that guide the suppression or activation of developmental programs, and identifying the genes and cellular mechanisms that affect lifespan and growth. They are intent on turning those discoveries into new therapies as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The Davis Center for Regenerative Biology and Medicine has been designated a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institute of General Medical Science, part of the NIH.