Christian Petersen Associate Professor

Research Summary: 

The Petersen lab studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie animal regeneration.  Tissue repair processes are likely ancient, and this ability is highly exaggerated in flatworm planarians, which use adult pluripotent stem cells to regenerate a complex anatomy after any injury, even decapitation. Current work uses this model system for identifying components of spatial control systems that link tissue injury to regulation of identity and extent of regenerative outgrowths.

Selected Publications:

Integrin suppresses neurogenesis and regulates brain tissue assembly in planarian regeneration. Nicolle A. Bonar NA and Christian P. Petersen. 2017. Development 144(5), 784-794. 

Wnt, Ptk7, and FGFRL expression gradients control trunk positional identity in planarian regeneration. Rachel Lander and Christian P. Petersen. 2016 eLife. 2016; 5. 

The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planariansConstanza Vásquez-Doorman and Christian P. Petersen. 2016. Regeneration (Oxf). 2016 Aug 18;3(3):168-78.  

Wnt/Notum spatial feedback inhibition controls neoblast differentiation to regulate reversible growth of the planarian brain. Eric M. Hill and Christian P. Petersen. 2015. Development 142(24):4217-29. 

zic-1 Expression in Planarian Neoblasts after Injury Controls Anterior Pole RegenerationConstanza Vásquez-Doorman and Christian P. Petersen. 2014. PLoS Genet. Jul 3;10(7):e1004452. 

Polarized notum Activation at Wounds Inhibits Wnt Function to Promote Planarian Head Regeneration. Petersen CP and Reddien PW. Science. 2011 May 13;332(6031):852-855.

Wnt Signaling and the Polarity of the Primary Body Axis. Petersen CP and Reddien PW. Cell. 2009 December 11;139(6):1056-1068.

A wound-induced Wnt expression program controls planarian regeneration polarity. Petersen CP and Reddien PW. PNAS. 2009 October 6;106(40):17061-17066.

Smed-βcatenin-1 Is Required for Anteroposterior Blastema Polarity in Planarian Regeneration. Petersen CP and Reddien PW. Science. 2008 January 18;319(5861):327-330.

Selected Honors:

NIH Director's New Innovator Award recipient, 2013

Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award, 2011

American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant, Northwestern University, 2011

American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2007

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 2000

Goldwater Scholarship in Physical Sciences, 1998