Jason Pomerantz, MD

Core

My research interests are in mesenchymal tissue regeneration. Our lab is taking broadly based molecular, cellular, organismal and evolutionary approaches to study skeletal and cardiac muscle regeneration and to understand how different regenerative capacities arose among species. The ultimate practical goal of our research is to develop novel approaches to repair and regenerate tissues that will have a positive impact on the treatment of a range of human diseases such as muscle loss after trauma and cardiac dysfunction after infarction. We are using the mouse, zebrafish and axolotl as model organisms. In regenerative organisms such as the zebrafish and axolotl, evidence suggests that apart from classical tissue stem cells, regeneration can occur by an alternative mechanism whereby post-mitotic differentiated cells reenter the cell cycle, proliferate and give rise to the regenerate. The existence of such a mechanism may underlie the extraordinary ability of these animals to regenerate body parts, including the heart. By focusing on differences in the maintenance of the post-mitotic state, we are developing models of regeneration in mice where regulation mimics the scenario in regenerative organisms.

As a clinician, Dr. Pomerantz is a plastic surgeon who specializes in pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery including the treatment of craniofacial anomalies. He cares for children and adults with congenital or acquired deformities, especially of the head and face, such as cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis and traumatic facial injuries.