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Matthew Dunn Matthew P. Dunn
Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Center for Developmental Genetics, CMM room 348
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5130
(ph) 631-632-8438 (f) 631-632-1692

Matt's Research Projects

The Nematostella vectensis regeneration transcriptome

The ability to regenerate missing or damaged tissues is a fundamental property of many animals. Wound healing, for example, is a modest form of regeneration that happens in all animals, but truly dramati regenerative capacities, such as the ability to replace almost any body part, is more rare and special in the animal kingdom. The ability of an animal to regenerate its tissues and organs varies greatly across species and phyla and depends on the animal or tissue in question. Humans can constantly regenerate the gut epithelium, skin and blood, as well as repair wounds to most tissues, but we cannot regenerate amputated limbs, severed nerves or damaged heart tissue, as examples. Yet some vertebrates, particularly amphibians such as newts and salamanders, can regenerate entire amputated limbs or nearly any damaged or missing part of their bodies. Many invertebrate animals have even more spectacular capacities to regenerate missing parts. Planarians, which are flatworms (phylum platyhelminthes), have been classically famous for their ability to regrow a missing heads or tail when cut in half transversely. A wide variety of annelid worms (such as earthworms or marine polychaetes) can regrow severed parts and damaged hearts, and starfish can regenerate legs. Even so-called “simple” animals of ancient phyla such as hydras, jellyfish and sea anemones can regenerate their entire body from small rudiments of adult tissue. Indeed, the ability of animals to regenerate seems to be deeply conserved in evolution, yet that capacity is relatively limited for many animals including humans. Research on animal regeneration aims to unlock common molecular mechanisms of regeneration and harness them for application to human health issues.

The Contribution of Stem Cells to Regeneration in the Sea Anemone

Abstract of the project...


Matt's Publications

Dunn MP and A DiGregorio. The evolutionarily conserved leprecan gene: its regulation by Brachyury and its role in the developing Ciona notochord. Dev Biol. 2009 Apr 15; 328(2): 561-74.

Passamaneck YJ, Katikala L, Perrone L, Dunn MP, Oda-Ishii I, Di Gregorio A. Direct activation of a notochord cis-regulatory module by Brachyury and FoxA in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Development 2009 Nov; 136(21): 3679-89.

Capellini TD*, Dunn MP*, Passamaneck YJ, Selleri L, Di Gregorio A. Conservation of Notochord Gene Expression across Chordates: Insights from the Leprecan Gene Family. Genesis. 2008 Sep. 17; 46(11): 683-696. *Co-first-authors

Lewis PM, Dunn MP, McMahon JA, Logan M, Martin SF, St-Jacques B, McMahon AP. Cholesterol Modification of Sonic Hedgehog Is Required for Long-Range Signaling Activity and Effective Modulation of Signaling by Ptc1. Cell. 2001 Jun1; 105(5): 599-612.


Matt's Education

, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University
Advisor: Dr. Anna Di Gregorio

Bachelor of Sciences and Engineering
: BioEngineering
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
University of Pennsylvania

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