Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
Regenerative Physiology Laboratory

CHIBA, Chikafumi PhD

Research Interest
Our current focus is on the retina, lens and limb. Recently, we established a highly efficient transgenic system for the newt Cynops pyrrhogaster, an undoubted breakthrough in this research field, accelerating the accumulation of knowledge on the regeneration of a newt’s body parts (Nature Protocols, 2011).

My research purpose is to save the lives of people who suffer traumatic injuries, through the application of newts’ strategy for regeneration of body-parts in medical treatments. Thus, I am now trying to uncover the cellular and molecular mechanisms of newt body-parts regeneration (a biological mystery over two centuries) while comparing them with mammalian wound healing and tissue repair mechanisms as well as with their pathogenic or oncogenic processes after traumatic injuries. 

The newt is the master of regeneration. No other animal can parallel its regenerative abilities in body-parts such as the limbs, the tail and spinal cord, parts of the eye (such as the retina and the lens), the brain, the heart and the jaws. This regeneration is mediated by dedifferentiation or transdifferentiation of somatic cells at the site of injury, making this process relevant to a number of important issues, such as the involvement of stem cells in wound healing, reprogramming, differentiation, patterning, and the restoration of physiological function.

Trans-Regeneration from Newt to Human

Doctoral program: Life and Environmental Sciences
           (Biological Sciences)
Master program: Life and Environmental Sciences
           (Biological Sciences)
Undergraduate program: College of Biological Sciences