Maksim V. Plikus, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Developmental and Cell Biology
Institution
University of California, Irvine
Address
845 Health Sciences Road
Room 3018
City, State, Zip
Irvine, CA 92697
Phone
(310) 882-8268
E-mail
plikus[at]uci.edu
Website
http://plikuslab.bio.uci.edu/
Research Field
Developmental Biology
Award Year
2016

Research

My lab investigates how wounds in the skin can heal without scarring. Scar formation is a mechanism that allows rapid repair of an injury, but the resulting tissue is not restored to its original form. In skin, for example, scarred regions lack hair and the underlying fat deposits that keep skin supple. As a postdoctoral fellow I made the surprising discovery that myofibroblasts, a key cellular component of scar tissue, can actually be reprogrammed into other cell types. Now, I will identify the environmental and cellular signals that promote this reprogramming and determine which myofibroblast genes respond to these factors to stimulate the regeneration of healthy tissue without scarring. These findings could provide an approach for tissue regeneration after injury or disease and lead to the development of therapies to minimize or reverse scar formation.