Evolution has selected for fast wound response mechanisms to ensure animal survival under harsh conditions. The first events that precede growth factor-, cytokine- and chemokine-regulated wound healing, and that mediate wound detection remain relatively little understood. Those are difficult to study due to their highly transient and local nature. Using real-time intravital imaging in transparent zebrafish larvae, we have interrogated early biochemical and biomechanical wound signals together with their spatiotemporal dynamics and physiological function. In this seminar, I will report on our recent advances in dissecting the roles of biomechanical-, redox- and bioactive lipid cues during early wound signaling.
I studied biochemistry and molecular biology in Hamburg, Germany. For my Diploma thesis, I worked with Melitta Schachner (ZMNH, Hamburg) on cell adhesion signalling during neuronal regeneration. For my PhD thesis (2001-2006), I worked together with Eric Karsenti and Philippe Bastiaens on imaging the spatiotemporal dynamics of microtubule regulation with optical biosensors during the cell cycle. For my postdoctoral research (2006-2011), I moved to Harvard Maedical School (Boston) to work with Tim Mitchison, initially on the spatiotemporal regulation of mitochondrial oxygen metabolism, and later on the role of reactive oxygen species during early wound signalling in zebrafish. With my own lab at Sloan Kettering Insitute in New York (2011-now), I have further developed quantitative intravitral imaging approaches to decipher the early regulation of inflammation and healing after tissue damage in zebrafish. This led to our recent discovery that cell swelling, a generic cellular stress response to hypotonicity and metabolic perturbation, acts as physiological key trigger of wound detection in zebrafish.