Postdoc in the Laboratory of Stem Cells, Development and Tissue Regeneration

Field: Life sciences (Molecular and Cell Biology of Stem Cells)

Results of the competition:

As a result of a conducted competition, the competition committee has recommended Dr Anna Puławska-Czub for the position.


Project title: Role of bifunctional nail proximal fold stem cells in digit regeneration, OPUS 17, NCN

Project description:  Adult stem cells are fundamental for proper organ maintenance and
tissue regeneration. The tips of mammalian digits including human can
regenerate after amputation, like those of amphibians but it was
unknown why this capacity is limited to the area associated with the
nail. Recently, cells in the nail matrix, which contribute towards nail
differentiation and visible nail formation, received notable attention for
their ability to coordinate mammalian digit regeneration. Indeed, highly
proliferating nail stem cells have been proposed to be localized within
the nail matrix and are necessary for mammalian digit regeneration
mechanisms. In addition, at the same time, my laboratory has identified
a novel dormant stem cells population which exists in continuously
growing nails. Interestingly, these previously unreported slow dividing
stem cells population of the nail is organized in a ring-like configuration
within the proximal fold, area where skin epidermis bends inward
ventrally and become nail epidermis which localizes on the border
between epidermis and nail at the fingertips. Thus, we have identified a
novel population of stem cells with dual function within the nail
proximal fold region which displays plastic homeostatic dynamics
capable of responding to injury and suggest a common, coordinated
mechanism of protective barrier formation which could occur between
the nail and adjacent epidermis. Here, we hypothesize that these stem
cells are a crucial source of cells during nail homeostasis and are
necessary to respond after an injury to regenerate the nail and
subsequently digit in mammals. In this proposal, we will employ several
different approaches to test and validate our hypothesis. We assume,
that further characterization of nail proximal fold stem cells may help
fill the gaps in our current understanding of nail biology and could not
only offer novel forms of treatment for patients with nail and digit
defects but could revolutionize in a broader sense, and also provide new
regenerative therapies for amputees in the future.


More information about the competition available in the attachment and at:

Deadline: 15/04/2020

Attachment: download

Tags: nail proximal fold stem cells, nail stem cells, nail matrix, BMP signaling, WNT signaling, digit regeneration