Dr. Mark Messerli studies the physiological controls of polarity in cells and tissues. This involves deciphering the cellular signaling pathways that are used to organize and polarize cells and tissues and also direct migration and growth of single cells during development, repair and regeneration. Understanding the natural mechanisms by which polarity is formed provides a foundation for using those mechanisms for repairing and rebuilding damaged tissues in humans. He is currently studying the mechanisms by which weak DC electric fields direct cell alignment, migration and elongation during wound healing and neuronal regeneration. Electric fields are used in the clinic to optimize healing of chronic wounds and direct elongation of neurons to treat spinal cord injury, although the mechanisms by which cells sense these weak fields is unknown. He is also interested in how polarized transport across the plasma membrane of polarized cells and epithelia control the local extracellular environment which is critical for cell and tissue function. He is a leader in developing methodologies for studying polarized transport in collaboration with a number of visiting investigators. Dr. Messerli has a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and a B.S. in Biology from Purdue University.
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MBL Address: Lillie 223
Research Assistant III
MBL Address: Lillie 216