Dr. Will Wood, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Bath
Tissue repair in embryos is rapid, efficient and perfect and does not leave a scar, an ability that is lost as development proceeds.
Whereas adult wound cells from the epidermis, (the outmost layer of the skin), crawl forwards over the wound to close the gap, in an embryonic wound the epidermis is closed by contraction of the protein actin in what resembles a ‘purse string’ movement.
One key difference between embryonic and adult repair, which may explain why one heals perfectly and the other scars, is the presence of an inflammatory response at sites of adult repair where there is none in the embryo.
Dr Wood’s research team has carried out genetic studies of inflammation in Zebrafish larvae with the aim of identifying ways of improving adult healing.
Dr Wood will be discussing his research in this field, and exploring whether the inflammatory response in adult wounds may be partly responsible for scarring.