Dr. Allison Edgar Awarded Fellowship from the National Science Foundation

Dr. Allison Edgar Awarded Fellowship from the National Science Foundation

Published: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Edgar, postdoctoral research associate in the Martindale Lab, for receiving a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology from the National Science Foundation for the project titled:

Evolution of genomic regulatory control of ctenophore development and regeneration

It is not yet known why some animals have remarkable abilities to regenerate (e.g., some can replace their whole body from just a small part that has been cut off), while others have very little regenerative capacity. Surprisingly, the ability to regenerate has been lost and gained many times independently across animals. This research uses two closely related invertebrate animals, one that can regenerate its whole body and one that cannot, to test the hypothesis that evolutionary changes in epigenomic regulation (differences in how the DNA of the genome is physically packaged) plays a major role in the gain and loss of regenerative abilities.

The results of this project will contribute to understanding how different cell types do different jobs and help to identify ways we might turn on the ability to regenerate in people to repair or replace damaged or diseased human body parts. This project includes a plan to help teachers and scientists work together to develop class activities that anyone can use so that a scientist does not need to live nearby to bring their knowledge to any classroom that wants it.