ESR 3: Examination of cellular infiltration and microenvironmental factors involved in scar-less healing/regeneration in Acomys (spiny mouse) compared to ordinary mouse – Portugal

This vacancy is closed

Host institution: University of Algarve (UALG), Portugal


  • Main supervisor: Dr. Gustavo Tiscornia (UALG, Center for Biomedical Research)
  • Co-supervisor: Dr. Marta Vitorino (UALG, Center for Biomedical Research)

Enrolment PhD training program:  UALG

Planned secondments:

Brief description:

In the African Spiny Mouse (Acomys), histology on response to extensive wounding in ear tissue and skin shows complete scar-less regeneration of dermis, epidermis (including hair follicles), elastic cartilage, adipose tissue, abundant angiogenesis and unequivocal presence of muscle and nerve fibres in the regenerated tissue. Similar wounds in Mus, however, do not regenerate and only repair at the borders of the cut by fibrotic scarring.

The ESR will  compare both species regarding the role of infiltrating cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) during regeneration/scarring, characterizing them in the wound bed over time. A comparison of Acomys to Mus will show the differences in a scarring and non-scarring systems. In both animal models, the wound healing in skin wounds and  ear punches will be assessed to evaluate if the extracellular matrix of Acomys contains cues which trigger scarless regeneration in species which do not have this capacity. Cross-transplants of decellularised skin from Acomys to Mus and vice versa will evaluate its effect on wound healing.


  1. Identification of cell types involved in scarless skin regeneration in ear punch and dorsal skin wound model in Acomys compared to Mus.
  2. Identification of extracellular matrix components in scarless skin regeneration in ear punch and dorsal skin wound models in Acomys compared to Mus.
  3. Cross-transplantations of Acomys decellularised skin on Mus and vice versa to evaluate regenerative/scarring response.

Project specific requirements:

  • MSc in Life Science/(Bio)chemistry/Biomedical sciences/Biology or similar
  • Expertise in the following areas is highly recommendable: general protein biochemistry or molecular biology, glycobiology, proteomics, (immune)histology and animal research
  • Permission to work with animals (art. 9) is a benefit