"Mechanisms of Regeneration and their Evolution"
Dr. Mansi Srivastava Srivastava Lab
Abstract: Wound repair and regeneration are fundamental features of animal biology, yet little is
known about how these pathways compare across animal lineages. The goals of my research
program are: 1) to identify cellular and genetic mechanisms for whole-body regeneration, and 2) to
create a framework for rigorous cross-species comparisons to understand the evolution of
regeneration. In this talk, I will discuss how we utilize a diversity of approaches including functional
genomics, single-cell RNA-sequencing, and transgenesis to uncover the mechanisms of regeneration
and stem cell regulation in Hofstenia miamia, an acoel worm. In particular, I will highlight how
studying embryonic development informs these questions.
Bio: Mansi received her A.B. in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College, where she became
fascinated by the process of regeneration and wrote her honors thesis on regeneration in
segmented worms. She studied animal evolution using comparative genomics for her Ph.D. in
Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley. For her postdoctoral training
at the Whitehead Institute/MIT, Mansi returned to her interest in regeneration and developed the
acoel Hofstenia miamia a.k.a. the three-banded panther worm as a new research organism for
studying the evolution of regeneration. In 2015, Mansi joined the faculty of Organismic and
Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and became a Curator in Invertebrate Zoology at the
Museum of Comparative Zoology. Mansi’s research group uses panther worms to develop new
approaches for studying both the mechanisms and evolution of regeneration.