Medical Research

Seattle Children's Research Institute

Mark Majesky, Kathleen Millen, Daryl Okamura, Adrian Piliponsky, Joshua Akey, Jay Shendure
Seattle, WA
December 2015

The long-term goal of this project is to enable regenerative wound repair in humans.  A multidisciplinary team of investigators from Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington will focus on learning how the African spiny mouse (genus Acomys), a terrestrial mammal with remarkable natural regenerative abilities, reacts to tissue injury and restores organ function without fibrosis or scar formation.  The team plans to acquire, assemble and annotate the whole genome sequence of Acomys, and to develop CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing methods for Acomys embryonic stem and somatic cells.  Furthermore, they propose to generate transgenic animals to allow investigators to test hypotheses about gene function in regenerative wound repair.  Once completed, the Acomys genome sequence and the transgenic animals will be made publically available.  The team will also investigate Acomys’ ability to regenerate internal organs after injury.  The investigators believe that the lack of scar formation in Acomys could shed light on how tissue fibrosis, which causes many types of organ failure, develops over time, and in this context propose methods to alter the course of fibrotic disease to promote regenerative wound healing.

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