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Building and repairing the skin: Insights from zebrafish

Dr. Jeff Rasmussen
University of Washington | Department of Biology
Seminar date:
Wednesday, October 4, 2023 - 12:30 to 13:15
HCK 132

Epithelial organs adopt precise structures during development that must be rapidly repaired in
response to injury. My lab uses zebrafish skin as a model system to understand the molecular
and cellular basis of epithelial organ development and repair. Skin contains a heterogeneous
mixture of cell types—including stem cells, sensory cells, and immune cells—that together
bestow the organ with its remarkable durability and touch sensitivity. In this talk, I will highlight
the recent work of two teams of researchers in the lab investigating interactions between skin
cell types. In the first project, we are using the imaging and genetic advantages of zebrafish to
study the development of specialized mechanosensory cells from skin stem cell progenitors. In
the second project, we are applying several novel injury paradigms to understand the responses
of skin-resident immune cells to tissue damage. Our long-term goal is to integrate these studies
with disease models that affect skin health, such as diabetes.

Fields of interest: