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Mechanisms of Tissue Regeneration

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Kerstin Bartscherer

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Kerstin Bartscherer

Contact details

The Department of Animal Physiology seeks to understand the mechanisms of successful tissue regeneration. We use comparative approaches between different regenerative animals, such as planarian flatworms and spiny mice (Acomys), and their poorly regenerating relatives to uncover the molecular pathways that prevent scarring and promote regeneration after injury. Our efforts include in vitro methods, such as iPS-derived tissue culture to complement and partially replace in vivo regeneration experiments.

Research Topics

  • Scar-free regeneration of the skin
  • Cardiac repair after ischemic injury
  • Stress-response pathways after injury
  • Evolution of regeneration

Model systems

  • Planarian flatworms
  • Spiny mice (Acomys)
  • iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and other cell types


  • spatially resolved transcriptomics (Tomo-seq)
  • single-cell gene expression analysis
  • microscopic analysis of molecules and subcellular structures in tissues and cells
  • human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology

A short video about our research interests is here.

Selected publications

van Beijnum H, Koopmans T, Tomasso A, Disela V, te Lindert S, Bakkers J, Alemany A, Berezikov E, Bartscherer K* (2023) Spatial transcriptomics reveals asymmetric cellular responses to injury in the regenerating spiny mouse (Acomys) ear Genome Research. pdf

Tomasso A, Koopmans T, Lijnzaad P, Bartscherer K*, Seifert AW* (2023) An ERK-dependent molecular switch antagonizes fibrosis and promotes regeneration in spiny mice (Acomys) Science Advances 9:17. pdf

Koopmans T, van Beijnum H, Roovers EF, Tomasso A, Malhotra D, Boeter J, Psathaki OE, Versteeg D, van Rooij E, Bartscherer K (2021) Ischemic tolerance and cardiac repair in the African spiny mouse. npj Regenerative Medicine 6:78, doi.org/10.1038/s41536-021-00188-2. pdf  Pressemitteilung

*co-corresponding authors

Further principal investigators

Dr. rer. nat. Luca Gentile