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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



One unanswered question in regenerative biology is why mammals fail to regenerate their limbs while some vertebrates have this capacity. Remarkably, however, mice and humans can regenerate the distal portion of their digit tips following amputation. This hints at the possibility that we have inherited the ability to regenerate limbs or entire fingers, yet the relevant genetic code may be switched off or modified by signals in the injury microenvironment. My research aims to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms that enable the very tips of fingertips to regenerate instead of forming a scar, so that we can use this knowledge to unlock the regenerative potential of other tissues in the body. To achieve this we combine in vitro systems with single-cell multi-omics methods and in vivo genetic lineage tracing studies.


Dr Kevin Chalut (Cambridge Stem Cell Institute; Dept. of Physics)
Professor Bertie Gottgens (Cambridge Stem Cell Institute; Dept. of Haematology)
Dr Sarah Teichmann (Wellcome Sanger Institutue)


Key publications: 

Storer MA and Miller FD (2020) Cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate mammalian digit tip regeneration. Open Biol. Sep;10(9):200194.

Storer MA*, Mahmud N*, Karamboulas K, Borrett MJ, Yuzwa SA, Gont A, Androschuk A, Sefton MV, Kaplan DR and Miller FD (2020) Acquisition of a unique mesenchymal precursor-like blastema state underlies successful adult mammalian digit tip regeneration. Dev Cell. Feb 24;52(4):509-524.*Equal contribution.

Xie M, Kamenev D, Kaucka M, Kastriti ME, Zhou B, Artemov AV, Storer M, Fried K, Adameyko I, Dyachuk V and Chagin AS (2019) Schwann cell precursors contribute to skeletal formation during embryonic development in mice and zebrafish. PNAS. Jul 23;116(30):15068-15073.

Storer MA, Gallagher D, Fatt MP, Simonetta JV, Kaplan DR and Miller FD (2018) Interleukin-6 regulates adult neural stem cell numbers during normal and abnormal post-natal development. Stem Cell Reports. May 8;10(5):1464-1480.

Ritschka B, Storer MA, Mas A, Heinzmann F, Ortells MC, Morton JP, Sansom OJ, Zender L and Keyes WM (2017) The senescence-associated secretory phenotype induces cellular plasticity and tissue regeneration. Genes Dev. Jan 15;31(2):172-183.

Johnston AP, Yuzwa SA, Carr MJ, Mahmud N, Storer MA, Krause MP, Jones K, Paul S, Kaplan DR and Miller FD (2016) Dedifferentiated Schwann cell precursors secreting paracrine factors are required for regeneration of the mammalian digit tip. Cell Stem Cell. Oct 6;19(4):433-448. https://doi/org/10.1016/j.stem.2016.06.002

Storer MA, Mas A, Robert-Moreno A, Pecoraro M, Ortells MC, Giacomo V, Yosef R, Pilpel N, Krizhanovsky V, Sharpe J and Keyes WA (2013) Senescence is a developmental mechanism that contributes to embryonic growth and patterning. Cell. Nov 21;155(5):1119-30.

Doles J, Storer MA, Cozzuto L, Roma G and Keyes WM (2012) Age-associated inflammation inhibits epidermal stem cell function. Genes Dev. Oct 1;26(19):2144-53.

Group Leader at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
Affiliated with PDN
Picture of Mekayla Storer

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