Investigates the molecular mechanisms underpinning regeneration and scarring in adult tissues using comparative biology approaches that combine mouse repair models with salamander-based tools for discovery.
Finding regenerative strategies capable of faithfully repairing tissues after surgery, disease or traumatic injury will have the potential to transform modern medicine and improve the lives of a limitless number of patients.
In dramatic contrast to the poor repair outcomes for humans and rodent models such as mice, salamanders are able to completely regenerate heart tissue, whole limbs and many other tissues following injury, at any life stage. This astounding capacity for repair provides a template on which to understand the process of natural regeneration and develop strategies to improve human repair.
Dr Godwin’s work explores the molecular signals from nerve and immune cells that underpin the resistance to scarring, and the activation of regeneration in salamanders. This work combines both comparative biology and immunomodulation to investigate the potential for regeneration in a range of genetic mouse models.
Dr Godwin holds a dual appointment at the Jackson Laboratory and MDI Biological laboratory.
Recently, a team led by JAX Professor and Scientific Director Nadia Rosenthal, Ph.D., F.Med.Sci., and Research Scientist James Godwin, Ph.D., explored the role of the immune response in heart regeneration in the axolotl (salamander).