Ashley W. Seifert

awse225's picture
  • Associate Professor
  • Biology
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
211 THM
859 218 2668
Research Interests:

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 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.

Limb and Skin Development in Salamanders: This line of research is focused on understanding how the skin and limb develop in salamanders. Although the development of these systems are well understood in amniotes, development of these organs is poorly understood in salamanders. Because salamanders are capable of regenerating their skin and limbs as adults, we have been investigating how these organs undergo normal development. This line of research allows us to better understand the degree to which organ development and regeneration share generalized programs.

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

PubMed Publications*: 
  • Meador, WD ;Sugerman, GP ;Story, HM ;Seifert, AW ;Bersi, MR ;Tepole, AB ;Rausch, MK "The regional-dependent biaxial behavior of young and aged mouse skin: A detailed histomechanical characterization, residual strain analysis, and constitutive model." Acta biomaterialia 101, (2020): 403-413. Details. Full text
  • Dunoyer, LA ;Seifert, AW ;Van Cleve, J "Evolutionary bedfellows: Reconstructing the ancestral state of autotomy and regeneration." Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution (2020): Details. Full text
  • Wang, C.;Guerriero, LE ;Huffman, DM ;Ajwad, AA ;Brooks, TC ;Sunderam, S ;Seifert, AW ;O'Hara, BF "A comparative study of sleep and diurnal patterns in house mouse (Mus musculus) and Spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus)." Scientific reports 10, 1 (2020): 10944. Details. Full text
  • Gredler, ML ;Patterson, SE ;Seifert, AW ;Cohn, MJ "Foxa1 and Foxa2 orchestrate development of the urethral tube and division of the embryonic cloaca through an autoregulatory loop with Shh." Developmental biology 465, 1 (2020): 23-30. Details. Full text
  • Cyr, JL ;Gawriluk, TR ;Kimani, JM ;Rada, B ;Watford, WT ;Kiama, SG ;Seifert, AW ;Ezenwa, VO "Regeneration-Competent and -Incompetent Murids Differ in Neutrophil Quantity and Function." Integrative and comparative biology 59, 5 (2019): 1138-1149. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Cook, AB ;Shaw, D "Inhibiting fibroblast aggregation in skin wounds unlocks developmental pathway to regeneration." Developmental biology 455, 1 (2019): 60-72. Details. Full text
  • Purushothaman, S ;Elewa, A ;Seifert, AW "Fgf-signaling is compartmentalized within the mesenchyme and controls proliferation during salamander limb development." eLife 8, (2019): Details. Full text
  • Saxena, S ;Vekaria, H ;Sullivan, PG ;Seifert, AW "Connective tissue fibroblasts from highly regenerative mammals are refractory to ROS-induced cellular senescence." Nature communications 10, 1 (2019): 4400. Details. Full text
  • Simkin, J ;Seifert, AW "Concise Review: Translating Regenerative Biology into Clinically Relevant Therapies: Are We on the Right Path?" Stem cells translational medicine 7, 2 (2018): 220-231. Details. Full text
  • Seifert, AW ;Muneoka, K "The blastema and epimorphic regeneration in mammals." Developmental biology 433, 2 (2018): 190-199. Details. Full text
  • Simkin, J ;Gawriluk, TR ;Gensel, JC ;Seifert, AW "Macrophages are necessary for epimorphic regeneration in African spiny mice." eLife 6, (2017): 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 ;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 ;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 ;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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Seifert, AW ;Maden, M. "New insights into vertebrate skin regeneration." International review of cell and molecular biology 310, (0): 129-69. Details. Full text
  • Gawriluk, TR ;Simkin, J ;Hacker, CK ;Kimani, JM ;Kiama, SG ;Ezenwa, VO ;Seifert, AW "Complex Tissue Regeneration in Mammals Is Associated With Reduced Inflammatory Cytokines and an Influx of T Cells." Frontiers in immunology 11, (0): 1695. Details. Full text
* Publications are automatically pulled from based on a user-specific query. Results may include incorrect citations. See: Tutorial on improving PubMed results.
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