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Dr. Michelle T. Juarez is a geneticist whose research focuses on the regulation of epidermal wound healing, using developmental and immunological processes to dissect the mechanism of regeneration in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster.
Wound Healing, the biology of damaged tissue repair is an intricate and complex process that depends on the balanced coordination of cellular responses to prevent infection and promote growth. Failure to properly balance the wound response can result in a wide range of problems such as chronic non-healing wounds, keloid formation, and permanent cellular damage. An investigation of the biological processes involved to promoting a rapid wound response is therefore essential for improving the treatment of injured tissue.
The laboratory research focuses on the localization of fluorescent epidermal ‘‘wound’’ reporters that are locally activated around wound sites in Drosophila embryos. The wound reporters provide an in vivo read out of a wound-induced transcriptional response. We utilize the powerful genetic tools of Drosophila to identify mutants required to activate or delimit wound reporters to a local zone of epidermal cells. Recent studies reveal a new role for the genes Dual oxidase, Flotillin-2 and Src42A to regulate the spread of wound response reporters. Additional work using the microinjection wound assay to simultaneously wound and inject chemicals into the Drosophila embryo provides an efficient system to screen novel compounds for promoting wound response localization. The conservation of many developmental pathways allows translation of our studies in Drosophila wound healing to improve treatments for human wound repair.
Video of Drosophila wound protocol:
Research Spotlight Interview:
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LOCATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Michelle T. Juarez, Ph.D.
Assistant Medical Professor,
Department of Pathobiology,
Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031