Andras Simon's Group

Natural examples of regeneration, such as salamanders, may unravel novel strategies for cell replacement of damaged or lost tissues. We study regeneration mechanisms in an aquatic salamander, the newt, which has the widest repertoire of regenerative abilities among adult vertebrates.

Image of a newt on a white table
Photo: Simon lab
Microscopic image of cells from a regenerating newt limb.

Our group has two main interests. The first dimension of our research is to reveal how adult neurogenesis and brain regeneration takes place. Here we focus on dopamine neurons in the midbrain. In particular we focus on the role of neurotransmitter signaling in neurogenesis during normal physiological conditions and also after neuronal ablation.

The second dimension of our research is to understand how skeletal muscle contributes to new tissues during limb regeneration. We have identified a Pax7+ stem cell population in salamander skeletal muscle and we try to understand how these cells take part in limb regeneration. Salamander skeletal muscle may also undergo a unique dedifferentiation process during limb regeneration, and we aim to reveal the mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle dedifferentiation.

Group members

Zeyu Yao PhD student

Selected Publications

Reading and editing the Pleurodeles waltl genome reveals novel features of tetrapod regeneration.
Elewa A, Wang H, Talavera-López C, Joven A, Brito G, Kumar A, et al
Nat Commun 2017 12;8(1):2286

MARCKS-like protein is an initiating molecule in axolotl appendage regeneration.
Sugiura T, Wang H, Barsacchi R, Simon A, Tanaka EM
Nature 2016 Mar;531(7593):237-40

Environmental changes in oxygen tension reveal ROS-dependent neurogenesis and regeneration in the adult newt brain.
Hameed LS, Berg DA, Belnoue L, Jensen LD, Cao Y, Simon A
Elife 2015 Oct;4():

Turning terminally differentiated skeletal muscle cells into regenerative progenitors.
Wang H, Lööf S, Borg P, Nader GA, Blau HM, Simon A
Nat Commun 2015 Aug;6():7916

Fundamental differences in dedifferentiation and stem cell recruitment during skeletal muscle regeneration in two salamander species.
Sandoval-Guzmán T, Wang H, Khattak S, Schuez M, Roensch K, Nacu E, et al
Cell Stem Cell 2014 Feb;14(2):174-87

Dopamine controls neurogenesis in the adult salamander midbrain in homeostasis and during regeneration of dopamine neurons.
Berg DA, Kirkham M, Wang H, Frisén J, Simon A
Cell Stem Cell 2011 Apr;8(4):426-33