Dr. Garcia-Arrarás has pioneered the use of the echinoderm Holothuria glaberrima to study the process of regeneration and organogenesis. His research focuses on the molecular aspects of organ regeneration, specifically on the genes that are important for intestinal and nervous system regeneration to occur. His lab has generated an expressed sequence tag (EST) database for H. glaberrima sequences obtained from various transcriptomic studies that include normal nervous tissue, normal intestine and regenerating nervous tissue and intestine at different regenerative stages. Their work is aimed at finding different profiles of gene expression and at determining the function of specific genes during the process of regeneration. Students will be involved in bioinformatics analyses to determine gene sequences, structural domains and gene characterization. In addition, the database will be analyzed to characterize the genetic profiles of nervous tissue specific gene sequence expression, intestinal specific expression and/or stage specific profiles.
In addition to the field of Regeneration, Dr. Garcia-Arraras brings to the project extensive biomedical knowledge in various fields that include Developmental Biology, Neuroscience, Physiology, Immunology and Anatomy.