Int. J. Dev. Biol. 53: 827 - 833 (2009)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.082596mr
© UPV/EHU Press

Regeneration and pattern formation - an interview with Susan Bryant

Michael K. Richardson*,1 and Cheng Ming Chuong2

1Institute of Biology, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands and 2Department of Pathology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA

ABSTRACT Susan Bryant is one of the leading researchers in regeneration and pattern formation. Born in England in 1943, she studied biology at King’s College, London (UK). After a Ph.D. with Angus Bellairs on caudal autotomy and regeneration in lizards, she researched urodele regeneration in Marcus Singer's lab at Case Western Reserve University. Then, at the University of California, Irvine, she adopted the axolotl as a research model for limb regeneration and pattern formation. Her work supported models involving the intercalation of positional values in a polar coordinate system. Fibroblasts, often regarded as "junk" cells, are seen by Susan Bryant as central to patterning. She argues that fibroblasts express positional values needed for regeneration. She also argues that vertebrate species capable of regeneration have evolved steps to plug back into developmental programmes. Susan Bryant thinks that regeneration is essential for a full understanding of development, and believes that developmental biology has suffered though not embracing regeneration. She also believes that deeper knowledge of pattern formation will bring advances in emerging field of tissue engineering. Since 2000, she has served as Dean of Biological Sciences and more recently, as Vice Chancellor for Research, at UC Irvine (USA). She is an advocate of equal opportunities for women and other under-represented groups in academia. She lives in California with husband David Gardiner, her scientific partner for over 20 years. They have two children. We interviewed Susan Bryant in her office in Irvine on October 5th, 2007.


pattern formation, urodele, regeneration, interview, positional information

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