Roles for dynamic regulation of endothelial cell adhesion

Benjamin A Nanes, MD, PhD
Assistant Instructor
Department of Dermatology
Research Fellow, Danuser Lab
Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Cytoskeletal dynamics in wound healing and re-epithelialization

How does individual cell morphology establish tissue architecture?

The epidermis forms a barrier between the body and the outside world, a deceptively simple-appearing function. Disruption of the epidermal barrier–wounding–triggers an intricate remodeling program to restore tissue integrity. Failure of this process leads to non-healing wounds and significant morbidity.

Epidermal function necessarily derives from the tissue's constituent cells, keratinocytes. Within keratinocytes, scaffolding and motor proteins determine cell shape and drive cell movement. Yet how these subcellular mechanics integrate to establish dynamic epidermal architecture remains poorly understood.

I use tissue engineering and advanced imaging to bridge the gap between our knowledge of mechanisms driving single-cell migration and our clinical observations of epidermal barrier repair. Connecting individual cell processes to tissue function is critical not only for our understanding of–and developing treatments to facilitate–wound healing, but also for our understanding of other conditions, such as cancer, where tissue architecture change directly impacts human health.

Advisor: Gaudenz Danuser, PhD (lab website)

Support: UT Southwestern Physician Scientist Training program

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Department of Dermatology
UT Southwestern Medical Center


Department of Internal Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center


Emory University School of Medicine

PhD — Dynamic regulation of endothelial cell adhesion

Emory University School of Medicine
Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology
Advisor: Andrew Kowalczyk, PhD (lab website)


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