Dr. Tsonis received his B.Sc. from the department of Biology, University of Patras, Greece and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Molecular Biology, Nagoya University, Japan. After a period of five years as a post-doctoral fellow and one year in the faculty of IUPUI, he moved to UD as an Assistant Professor in 1989. He went quickly through the ranks and became a Full Professor in 1997. He has published more than 110 scientific papers and 2 books. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
To me it is important to be a rigorous researcher and a good teacher. Research is important because it provides a different perspective of the natural world and therefore in teaching. My goal is to establish a UD-based legacy in my scientific field that is recognized nationally and internationally.
- Ph.D., Institute of Molecular Biology, Nagoya University, Japan
Research: Mechanisms and induction of tissue regeneration
Tissue repair and regeneration of body parts are quite amazing biological and physiological processes that occur in all animals to one degree or another. Many animals, including humans, contain stem cells or progenitor cells that are capable of differentiating to several cell types at injury sites and contribute to repair. On the other hand some urodele amphibians have the incredible capacity of regenerating whole body parts, such as limbs, tails, spinal cord, eyes, brain, ear, jaw and heart. In these animals regeneration is achieved through the dedifferentiation of the existing terminally differentiated cells at the injury site. In other words these animals possess the unique capacity of returning their adult somatic cells back to an embryonic state or a progenitor state. To address these very important questions we use as a system regeneration of eye and limb tissues in amphibians. During the past few years we have learned much about the induction mechanisms and we are attempting to extend our studies in mammals as well. We have also heavily invested in establishing technology for gain and loss of function in adult newts as well as in creating resources, such as ESTs and whole transcriptome.
"BMP inhibition-driven regulation of six-3 underlies induction of newt lens regeneration". Nature 438: 858-862 (2005). View Article (pdf) >>
"The role of pax-6 in lens regeneration". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103: 14848-14853 (2006). View Article (pdf) >>
"Expression of stem cell pluripotency factors during regeneration in newts". Develop. Dyn. 238: 1613-1616 (2009). View Article (pdf) >>
"miRNAs in newt lens regeneration: Specific control of proliferation and evidence for miRNA networking". PLoS ONE 5(8): e12058. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012058 (2010). View Article (pdf) >>
"Oocyte-type linker histone B4 is required for transdifferentiation of somatic cells in vivo". FASEB J. 24: 3462-3467 (2010). View Article (pdf) >>
"A system for culturing iris pigment epithelial cells to study lens regeneration in newt". doi: 10.3791/2713. J. Vis. Exp. 52 (2011). View Article (www) >>
"Regenerative capacity in newts is not altered by repeated regeneration and aging". Nature Commun. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1389 (2011). View Article (www) >>
"Bridging the regeneration gap: genetic insights from diverse animal models". Nature Rev. Genetics 7:873-884 (2006). View Article (pdf) >>
"Bridging knowledge gaps on the long road to regeneration: Classical models meet stem cell manipulation and bioengineering". Molecular Interventions 7: 249-250 (2007). View Article (pdf) >>
"Regeneration according to Spallanzani". Develop. Dyn. 238; 2357-2363 (2009). View Article (pdf) >>
"Molecular and cellular aspects of amphibian lens regeneration". Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 29: 543-555 (2010). View Article (pdf) >>
"Controlling gene loss of function in newts with emphasis on lens regeneration". Nature Protocols 6: 593-599 (2011). View Article (pdf) >>
"Expressing exogenous genes in newts by transgenesis". Nature Protocols 6: 600-608 (2011). View Article (pdf) >>
Limb Regeneration, Cambridge University Press (1996)
Animal Models for Eye Research, Elsevier (2008)
Gene Regulation and Expression
Henry Stewart Talks Series in Biomedicine and the Life Sciences. "From DNA to Proteins: The Multiple Levels of Regulation:. Learn more (pdf) >>
"The regeneration recipe: The Scientist", August 2009. View Article (pdf) >>
"Valaoritis’s 'Kyra Frossini' An English Translation", Nostos Books (2008). View Article (pdf) >>