Ashley W. Seifert

  • Assistant Professor
  • Biology
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
211 THM
859 218 2668
Research Interests:
Education

Postdoctoral Fellow (Regeneration Biology )-- University of Florida, Department of Biology 2009-2013
Ph.D. (Developmental Biology) -- University of Florida, Department of Zoology, 2004-2009
M.Sc. (Physiological Ecology) -- University of Florida, Department of Zoology, 2001-2004
A.B. (Biology) -- Bowdoin College, 1994-1998

Research

Research projects in my laboratory are united in trying to understand the developmental mechanisms regulating organogenesis and regeneration. Patterning, growth, and cellular differentiation are integrated in both processes, but it remains largely unknown if regeneration recapitulates development or comprises its own unique program in response to injury. Research in the lab utilizes multiple animal models to understand how injury stimulates a regenerartive response in some contexts while in others the result is fibrosis (scarring) and failure to regenerate. The ultimate goal is to understand how tissue regeneration occurs in a natural biological context and use this understanding to inform the development of regenerative therapies for use in human medicine.

Research projects in the lab are presently focused in three tissue systems (skin, ear and limb)

Tissue Regeneration in African spiny mice: Examples of tissue regeneration in adult mammals are the exception and include the regeneration of deer antlers, and rabbit ear tissue. In addition to comparing scar-free healing in salamanders to wound repair in mammalian models (e.g., pigs and rodents), we are pursuing examples of bonafide tissue regeneration in mammals. Our recent discovery that African spiny mice (Acomys) can regenerate hair follicles, cartilage, and skin in ear punches provides a new opportunity to uncover molecular changes that permit regeneration in an adult mammal. Using their ears as a regenerative system, we are investigating how these animals generate and maintain a regeneration blastema. In addition, a longstanding question in regeneration biology has centered on whether the mammalian immune system contributes to constrain regenerative capacity. We are currently developing a project to examine the local response to injury and test the hypothesis that trade-offs in immunity along (1) innate vs. adaptive and (2) pro vs. anti-inflammatory axes underlie variation in the ability and rate of regeneration.

Scar Free Healing in Salamanders: A major focus of the lab is trying to understand the mechanisms that regulate skin regeneration in some vertebrates (e.g., salamanders), in contrast to fibrotic scarring observed in frogs and mammals. Our discovery of scar-free skin regeneration in adult axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) has provided a platform to compare these divergent responses to injury. Combining molecular genetic tools available in axolotls with pharmacodynamics we are pursuing the following questions; (1) what biological components of the extracellular matrix constitute a regenerative environment, (2) how does the extracellular environment regulate fibrosis following injury and (3) what are the key molecular signals that control fibrosis during regeneration and scarring.

Reduced Regenerative Ability Following Metamorphosis: This line of research concerns how metamorphosis constrains regenerative ability following metamorphosis. While it is well known that the ability to regenerate appendages is restricted following metamorphisis, how this ability is constrained is poorly understood. As part of a collaborative working group (Nexus Biology Group), we have demonstrated that axolotls experience defects in blastemal proliferation and skeletal patterning following metamorphosis. In collaboration with James Monaghan at Northeastern University, we are using this system to explore how cell-intrinsic changes in cell cycle regulation underlie this reduction in regenerative ability.

For more information about the laboratory, people and projects visit the Seifert Lab Website.

Selected Publications: 

Leung, M.C.K, Hutson, M. Shane, Seifert, A.W., Baker, N.C., Spencer, R.M., and Knudsen, T.B. (2016). Computational Modeling and Simulation of Genital Tubercle Development. Reproductive Toxicology. DOI: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2016.05.005.

Armfield, B.A., Seifert, A.W., Zheng, Z., Merton. E.M., Rock, J.R., Lopez C., Baker H.V., and Cohn, M.J. (2016). Molecular Characterization of the Genital Organizer: Gene Expression Profile of the Mouse Urethral Plate Epithelium. Journal of Urology. DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.04.091.

Gawriluk, T. R. Simkin, J., Thompson, K.L., Biswas, S., Clare-Salzler, Z., Kimani, J.M., Kiama, S.G., Ezenwa V.O., Smith, J.J., and Seifert, A.W. (2016). Comparative analysis of ear-hole closure identifies epimorphic regeneration as a discrete trait in mammals. Nat. Commun. 7:11164 doi: 10.1038/ncomms11164.

Haughton, C.L., Gawriluk, T.R., and Seifert, A.W. (2016). The African spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus): biology and husbandry of a laboratory colony. JAALAS.

Gredler, M. L., Seifert, A. W., and Cohn, M. J. (2015). Tissue-specific roles of Fgfr2 in development of the external genitalia. Development 142 (12), 2203-2212.

Maden, M., Avila, D., Roy, M., and Seifert, A.W. (2015). Tissue specific reactions to positional discontinuities in the regenerating axolotl limb. Regeneration. DOI: 10.1002/reg2.35.

Gredler, M. L., Seifert, A. W., and Cohn, M. J. (2014). Phallus and cloaca development in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. Journal of Sexual Development.

Seifert, A.W., and Maden, M. (2014). New insights into skin regeneration. International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology. 310, 129-169. 

Monaghan, J. R.*, Stier, A.C.*, Michonneau, F.*, Smith, M.D.*, Pasch, B.*, Maden, M and Seifert, A. W. *. (2014). Experimentally induced metamorphosis in axolotls reduces regenerative rate and fidelity and impedes limb regeneration in salamanders. Regeneration. 1:1, 2-14.

Seifert, A.W., and Voss, S.R. (2013). Commentary: Revisiting the relationship between regenerative ability and aging. BMC Biology, Jan 21; 11:2.

Seifert, A.W., Kiama, S.G., Seifert, M.G., Goheen J., Palmer, T. M., and Maden, M. (2012).  Skin shedding and tissue regeneration in African spiny mice (Acomys). Nature, Sep 27;489(7417):561-5.

Monaghan, J. R., Athippozhy, A., Seifert, A.W., Putta, S., Stromberg, A., Maden, M., Gardiner, D. M., and Voss, S. R. (2012).  Gene expression patterns specific to the regenerating limb of the Mexican axolotl. Biology Open, Oct 15;1(10):937-48.

Seifert, A.W., Monaghan, J.R., Voss, S.R., and Maden, M. (2012). Skin regeneration in adult axolotls: A blueprint for scar-free healing in vertebrates. PLoSOne 7(4):e32875. Epub, Apr 2

Seifert, A.W., Monaghan, J.R., Smith, M.D., Pasch, B., Stier, A.C., Michoneau, F., and Maden, M. (2012). The influence of fundamental traits on mechanisms controlling appendage regeneration. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc. 2012 May;87(2):330-45.

Seifert, A.W*., Zheng, Z*, Ormerod, B.K., and Cohn, M.J. (2010). Shh controls growth of external genitalia by regulating cell cycle kinetics. Nature Communications 1(3):1-9.

Seifert, A.W., Bouldin, C., Choi, K.S., Harfe, B.H., and Cohn, M.J., (2009). Multiphasic and tissue specific roles for Shh during anogenital development. Development 136 (23):3949-57.

Seifert, A.W., Yamaguchi, T., and Cohn, M.J. (2009). Functional and phylogenetic analysis shows that Fgf8 is a marker of genital induction in mammals but is not required for external genital development. Development 136(15):2643-51.

Seifert, A.W., Harfe, B.H., and Cohn, M.J. (2008). Cell lineage analysis demonstrates an endodermal origin of the distal urethra and perineum. Developmental Biology 1;318(1):143-52. (cover article)

Seifert, A.W., and Chapman, L.J. (2007). The relationship between temperature and standard rate of metabolism in the African lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus, from Uganda. African Journal of Aquatic Sciences, 32(3) 299-303.

Garner, S., Birt, T.P., Mlewa, C.M., Green, J.M., Seifert, A., and Friesen, V.L. (2006). Genetic variation in the marbled lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus in Lake Victoria and introduction to Lake Baringo, Kenya. Journal of Fish Biology, 69: 189-199.

Seifert, A.W., and Chapman, L.J. (2006). Respiratory allocation and standard rate of metabolism in the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology: Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 143(1):142-8.

Chapman, L.J., Nordlie, F.G., and Seifert, A. (2002). Respiratory oxygen consumption among groups of the African cichlid Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae subjected to different oxygen concentrations during development. Journal of Fish Biology, 61: 242-251.

Book Chapters, Edited Volumes, Technical Reports

Coots, P., and Seifert, A.W. (2015). Thyroxine induced metamorphosis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). In, Salamanders in Regeneration Research in Methods in Molecular Biology, eds. Kumar, A. and Simon, A. Springer. USA. pp. 141-145.

PubMed Publications*: 
  • Simkin, J ;Gawriluk, TR ;Gensel, JC ;Seifert, AW "Macrophages are necessary for epimorphic regeneration in African spiny mice." eLife 6, (2017): Details. Full text
  • Armfield, BA ;Seifert, AW ;Zheng, Z ;Merton, EM ;, ;Lopez, MC ;Baker, HV ;Cohn, MJ "Molecular Characterization of the Genital Organizer: Gene Expression Profile of the Mouse Urethral Plate Epithelium." The Journal of urology 196, 4 (2016): 1295-302. Details. Full text
  • Haughton, CL ;Gawriluk, TR ;Seifert, AW "The Biology and Husbandry of the African Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus) and the Research Uses of a Laboratory Colony." Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science : JAALAS 55, 1 (2016): 9-17. Details. Full text
  • Cook, AB ;Seifert, AW "Beryllium nitrate inhibits fibroblast migration to disrupt epimorphic regeneration." Development (Cambridge, England) 143, 19 (2016): 3491-3505. Details. Full text
  • Leung, MC ;Hutson, MS ;Seifert, AW ;Spencer, RM ;Knudsen, TB "Computational modeling and simulation of genital tubercle development." Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.) 64, (2016): 151-61. Details. Full text
  • Gawriluk, TR ;Simkin, J ;Thompson, KL ;Biswas, SK ;Clare-Salzler, Z ;Kimani, JM ;Kiama, SG ;Smith, JJ ;Ezenwa, VO ;Seifert, AW "Comparative analysis of ear-hole closure identifies epimorphic regeneration as a discrete trait in mammals." Nature communications 7, (2016): 11164. Details. Full text
  • Gredler, ML ;Seifert, AW ;Cohn, MJ "Tissue-specific roles of Fgfr2 in development of the external genitalia." Development (Cambridge, England) 142, 12 (2015): 2203-12. Details. Full text
  • Maden, M.;Avila, D ;Roy, M ;Seifert, AW "Tissue specific reactions to positional discontinuities in the regenerating axolotl limb." Regeneration (Oxford, England) 2, 3 (2015): 137-147. Details.
  • Monaghan, JR ;Stier, AC ;Michonneau, F ;Smith, MD ;Pasch, B ;Maden, M.;Seifert, AW "Experimentally induced metamorphosis in axolotls reduces regenerative rate and fidelity." Regeneration (Oxford, England) 1, 1 (2014): 2-14. Details.
  • Seifert, AW ;Voss, SR "Revisiting the relationship between regenerative ability and aging." BMC biology 11, (2013): 2. Details. Full text
  • Monaghan, JR ;Athippozhy, A.;Seifert, AW ;Putta, S.;Stromberg, AJ ;Maden, M.;Gardiner, DM ;Voss, SR "Gene expression patterns specific to the regenerating limb of the Mexican axolotl." Biology open 1, 10 (2012): 937-48. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Monaghan, JR ;Smith, MD ;Pasch, B ;Stier, AC ;Michonneau, F ;Maden, M. "The influence of fundamental traits on mechanisms controlling appendage regeneration." Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 87, 2 (2012): 330-45. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Kiama, SG ;Seifert, MG ;, ;Palmer, TM ;Maden, M. "Skin shedding and tissue regeneration in African spiny mice (Acomys)." Nature 489, 7417 (2012): 561-5. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Zheng, Z ;Ormerod, BK ;Cohn, MJ "Sonic hedgehog controls growth of external genitalia by regulating cell cycle kinetics." Nature communications 1, (2010): 23. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Bouldin, CM ;Choi, KS ;Harfe, BD ;Cohn, MJ "Multiphasic and tissue-specific roles of sonic hedgehog in cloacal septation and external genitalia development." Development (Cambridge, England) 136, 23 (2009): 3949-57. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Yamaguchi, T ;Cohn, MJ "Functional and phylogenetic analysis shows that Fgf8 is a marker of genital induction in mammals but is not required for external genital development." Development (Cambridge, England) 136, 15 (2009): 2643-51. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Harfe, BD ;Cohn, MJ "Cell lineage analysis demonstrates an endodermal origin of the distal urethra and perineum." Developmental biology 318, 1 (2008): 143-52. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Chapman, LJ "Respiratory allocation and standard rate of metabolism in the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus." Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology 143, 1 (2006): 142-8. Details. Full text
  • Gredler, ML ;Seifert, AW ;Cohn, MJ "Morphogenesis and patterning of the phallus and cloaca in the American alligator, alligator mississippiensis." Sexual development : genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology, and pathology of sex determination and differentiation 9, 1 (0): 53-67. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Monaghan, JR ;Voss, SR ;Maden, M. "Skin regeneration in adult axolotls: a blueprint for scar-free healing in vertebrates." PloS one 7, 4 (0): e32875. Details. Full text
  • Coots, PS ;Seifert, AW "Thyroxine-induced metamorphosis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)." Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 1290, (0): 141-5. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Maden, M. "New insights into vertebrate skin regeneration." International review of cell and molecular biology 310, (0): 129-69. Details. Full text
* Publications are automatically pulled from pubmed.gov based on a user-specific query. Results may include incorrect citations. See: Tutorial on improving PubMed results.
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