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Polygence Scholar2023
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Lilly Rubinstein

Class of 2024Mill Valley, CA



  • "Axolotl Limb Regeneration and its Application to Human Medical Treatments" with mentor Alyssa (Oct. 17, 2023)

Project Portfolio

Axolotl Limb Regeneration and its Application to Human Medical Treatments

Started Apr. 21, 2023

Abstract or project description

The amputation of limbs can be life-threatening and debilitating, and with 185,000 amputations occurring in the United States each year, finding alternatives will vastly improve the quality of life for many people. Developing therapeutic techniques and devices to advance limb regeneration and recovery will significantly benefit clinical medicine. Axolotls, a species of salamander, serve as an excellent model system for studying tissue regeneration because of their capacity to regrow their limbs and large organs when amputated, as opposed to forming scar tissue like mammals. This review will discuss what is known about axolotl limb regeneration and wound healing and how it can be applied to modern translational medicine in humans. Underlying similarities and differences in genetics between humans and axolotls will be discussed, such as the activation and regulation of the TGF-b1 gene to proliferate cells during regeneration. In this investigation, potential gaps will be discussed in our understanding of science and the availability of research data that can be readily applied to humans. Studying these properties in axolotls will potentially allow us to inform treatments to enhance regenerative abilities in humans.