Keynote Lecture

Max H. Yun

Salamander models in regeneration and beyond: new resources and paradigms

Exhibiting the widest repertoire of regenerative abilities among vertebrates, which extend to complex organs and entire limbs, salamanders have long served as research models for understanding the basis of vertebrate regeneration. Recent technical advances have enabled salamander systems such as the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and the Spanish ribbed newt (Pleurodeles waltl), resulting in a significant expansion of research areas incorporating these models and a wealth of biological insights, from regeneration through development, genome organization and evolution. Here, I will discuss recent advances in salamander resources, including the giant P. waltl genome, and their contributions towards understanding principles of regeneration and beyond. Further, I will introduce a new paradigm of de novo organ regeneration, the axolotl thymus, with significant implications for our understanding of cellular transitions. Lastly, I will discuss the potential of salamander models to illuminate links between regeneration and ageing.