Welcome to the Garza Laboratory! Our group is interested in investigating hypotheses on basic skin questions that are directly relevant to skin disease in humans. We hope that through rigorous hypothesis driven research into skin biology, we will gain important insights that will directly improve patient care.
Our model system is the skin. To answer basic question regarding stem cell biology and regeneration, we choose the skin because of its accessibility, the depth of current knowledge, and the complexity of epithelial/mesenchymal interactions in the context of relevant vasculature, nerves and hematopoietic cells.
The current focus of the lab is what controls and maintains skin identity. Regions of our skin are remarkably diverse in function and features. Despite constant cellular turnover, each area’s features are remarkably maintained. We study how under normal conditions identity is actively maintained and how it might be manipulated. We also study how during wounding skin identity is typically lost (i.e. scar), but under rare situations complete regeneration occurs.
Understanding these questions will have broad significance to regeneration and stem cell biology in multiple organs. Understanding wound healing programs that re-initiate embryonic developmental patterns might eventually lead to insights on how to trigger the regrowth of a severed human limb, for example.
For more information on the Garza Laboratory: