Ken Poss, Ph.D.
Department of Cell Biology

Executive Committee:
Farshid Guilak, Ph.D.
Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D.

Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Training Program

Our program brings together basic scientists and clinicians studying stem cells in a variety of adult and developing organ systems. The goal is to understand and exploit their remarkable capacity to maintain healthy tissues and to replace cells lost by disease or injury. Program highlights include:

  • Pioneering studies on therapeutic applications of bone marrow and cord blood stem cells
  • Use of bioengineered scaffolds to grow new tissues from stem cells
  • High resolution imaging of stem cells in living tissues, and their relationship with blood vessels and nerve cells migrating into developing organs
  • Identification of natural signals that control how stem cells behave
  • Investigations of germline stem cells and their regulation by RNA binding proteins and miRNAs
  • Learning from zebrafish, which have much greater capacity than humans to regenerate organs after injury
  • Studying how cancers arise from, and can be maintained by, stem cells

Niche regulation of new neurons production in the adult brain
Robust production of new neurons continues in the adult rodent brain, but how this is sustained remains unknown. Researchers in Dr. Chay T. Kuo’s laboratory found that self-assembly of radial glia into support structures for adult stem cells is critical for continued neurogenesis. More...

Zebrafish Heart regeneration

Zebrafish heart regeneration
During heart regeneration in zebrafish, retinoic production in endocardial and epicardial cells localizes to areas of tissue damage, where it promotes cardiomyocyte proliferation. More...

Instestinal Crypt

Intestinal Crypt Proliferation
Stem cell/transit amplifying compartments (green) reside in the base of each mouse intestinal crypt. These cells give rise to the multiple lineages of the intestinal epithelium (Lechler lab). More...


Lung epithelial stem cell regulation
The airways of the lung are lined by an epithelium that contains large numbers of cells specialized for making and secreting glycoproteins and mucus, as well as multiciliated cells that remove the mucus and the particles trapped in it. More...

immune cells

Role of immune cells in the spermatogonial stem cell niche
In addition to their roles in immune and inflammatory responses, macrophages have diverse functions in development. In reproductive biology, macrophages have been implicated in ovarian follicular growth and in Leydig cell function, but their role in spermatogonial differentiation has not been examined. More...

Drosphila hindgut repair

Drosophila hindgut repair
The fruit fly Drosophila has long been a leading genetic model for stem cell research. However, until recently no Drosophila models existed for study of mechanisms by which adult organs lacking active stem cells repair damaged tissue. More...

Indispensible pre-mitotic endocycles promote aneuploidy in the Drosophila rectum

Fox innovation

Time lapse imaging of a tripolar division during developmental organ regeneration in the Drosophila hindgut.  These divisions occur in cells with extra copies of the genome (polyploid cells) and produce an adult organ in which many of the cells have variable, imbalanced chromosome numbers (aneuploid cells).  DNA is in purple, and centrosomes and cell membranes are in green.

Fox Lab.  Schoenfelder et al.  (2014) Development 141:3551-3560

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