Heart regeneration pioneer to join UW–Madison, Morgridge Institute

Kenneth Poss

Kenneth Poss

A biologist who explores the potential life-saving mechanisms of how organisms regenerate damaged heart and spinal cord tissue will join the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research this fall.

Kenneth Poss, presently the James B. Duke Professor of Regenerative Biology at Duke University, explores a research area that has grown tremendously in the years following James Thomson’s landmark discoveries in human stem cells. With Thomson’s retirement in 2022, the School of Medicine and Public Health at UW–Madison and Morgridge teamed together to recruit another international leader to bolster Wisconsin’s leadership in this biomedically important field.

“We are delighted to partner with the Morgridge Institute in the recruitment of an internationally renowned leader in stem cell research,” says Robert N. Golden, dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health. “We look forward to having Ken Poss join the vibrant group of scientists on our campus who are tirelessly focused on advancing the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine.”

Poss studies the mystery of how some animal species are capable of regenerating virtually any damaged tissue in their body. The Poss Lab uses zebrafish, a model species that is uniquely suited to reveal mechanisms of regeneration. He was the first to demonstrate heart muscle regeneration in this model organism in response to injuries that would be lethal to mammals, including humans.

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