Jessica Lehoczky, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
The Lehoczky lab is anchored in thinking about why mammals do not regenerate their limbs following amputation.
Intriguingly, some mammalian digit tips (including mouse and human children) can regenerate following amputation, demonstrating that mammals are capable of innate composite tissue regeneration.
In our lab we use the experimental model of mouse digit tip regeneration with the broad goal of understanding which cells and molecular pathways are necessary for this process.
A portion of our present research builds off of our previous findings that the digit-tip regenerate tissues arise from a heterogeneous pool of lineage-restricted progenitor cells (termed the ‘blastema’). We have used scRNAseq throughout mouse digit tip regeneration to more comprehensively address the complexity of cell types and lineage relationships in the digit tip blastema. We are using this extensive data set to tease out regeneration specific factors and cell-states.
Our lab is also focused on understanding why the nail epithelium is necessary for digit tip regeneration. We are building on our previous finding that Lgr6, a Wnt signaling agonist expressed in nail progenitor cells, is necessary for digit tip regeneration, as well as a project to broadly characterize putative pro-regenerative factors originating in the regenerating nail epithelium.
Jessica Lehoczky received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Mathematics from Lehigh University and went on to work on the Human Genome Project at the Whitehead Center for Genome Research (now Broad Institute). Jessica earned her Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan where under the mentorship of Jeffrey Innis, she studied the transcriptional regulation of Hox genes during limb development. For her postdoctoral research, she joined Cliff Tabin’s lab in the Genetics Department at Harvard Medical School where her research focused on the endogenous process of mouse digit tip regeneration. Currently, Dr. Lehoczky is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and her lab is at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.