Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Robert Major, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robert Hinrichsen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Daniel Widzowski, Ph.D.


The inability to repair aging or damaged tissues is a strong contributor to disease. The freshwater planarian flatworm, containing a pluripotent stem cell population called as Neoblasts, has an incredible capacity to regenerate every cell type in its body, making it an excellent model system to unlock the pathways governing injury-induced tissue repair and maintenance. My study explores the role of a transcription factor, Tbx20, as a patterning regulator. I have cloned whole sequence of the planarian tbx20 gene and have performed RNA-mediated genetic interference to knockdown its function during regeneration. Regenerating fragments exhibit an abnormal posterior indented blastema where medial tissues fail to regenerate and posterior curling forming into a cone. I propose that tbx20 coordinates medial-lateral and Dorsal-ventral axes as well as have sensitivity to anterior-posterior axis during regeneration. My studies on tbx20 function will provide information on how axial patterning in the planarian regulate tissue regeneration.