JMU researchers make promising find in appendage regeneration

Marcus Davis Research

Findings that may have important implications for regenerative medicine with the goal of one day inducing tissue regrowth for people that have lost limbs were published Wednesday, July 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Marcus Davis, associate dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and professor of biology at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Amanda Cass, visiting assistant professor of biology at JMU, are part of an international team that published the paper. 

Through surgical and molecular analyses, the research team discovered that the paired fins of fishes and the limbs of land vertebrates share a conserved and ancient mechanism for skeletal regeneration following injury or disease.  Their research demonstrates that all major clades of ray-finned fish have the capacity to regenerate their fins following amputation, and that fins and limbs share a common molecular program for regeneration.

The paper, titled, "Deep evolutionary origin of limb and fin regeneration," can be found here: 

Davis can be reached at  


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by Eric Gorton

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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