Kenneth Poss
Principal Investigator
James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Regenerative Biology
Professor of Cell Biology
Director of the Duke Regeneration Center
Professor of Biology
Professor in Medicine
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute


The laboratory uses zebrafish as a model system for investigating organ regeneration. The adult zebrafish displays a highly efficient regenerative response to cardiac resection injury, able to renew up to 20 percent of ventricular myocardium. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for stimulating and maintaining cardiac regeneration are unknown.

Determining factors that facilitate cardiac regeneration in zebrafish is our goal. From this information, we can identify molecular and cellular characteristics that distinguish regenerative healing from the scarring that is associated with mammalian cardiac injury.

Furthermore, we will reveal candidate molecules that might influence the regenerative ability of the mammalian heart.

Selected Publications

  • Lee Y, Grill S, Sanchez A, Murphy-Ryan M, and Poss KD (2005). Fgf signaling instructs position-dependent growth rate during zebra fish fin regeneration. Development 132, 5173-5183.
  • Poss KD. A zebra fish model of germ cell aneuploidy. Cell Cycle. 2004 Oct;3(10):1225-6. Epub 2004 Oct 13.
  • Poss KD, Nechiporuk A, Stringer KF, Lee C, and Keating MT. (2004). Germ cell aneuploidy in zebra fish with mutations in the mitotic checkpoint gene mps1. Genes and Development 18, 1527-1532.
  • Traver D, Paw BH, Poss KD, Penberthy WT, Lin S, and Zon LI (2003). Transplantation and in vivo imaging of multilineage engraftment in zebra fish bloodless mutants. Nature Immunology 4, 1238-1246.
  • Poss KD, Keating MT, and Nechiporuk A. (2003). Tales of regeneration in zebra fish. Developmental Dynamics 226, 202-210.
  • Nechiporuk A, Poss KD, Johnson SL, and Keating MT. (2003). Positional cloning of a temperature-sensitive mutant emmental reveals a role for Sly1 during cell proliferation in zebra fish fin regeneration. Developmental Biology 258, 291-306.
  • Poss KD, Wilson LG, and Keating MT. Heart regeneration in zebra fish. (2002). Science 298, 2188-2190.
  • Poss KD, Nechiporuk A, Hillam AM, Johnson SL, and Keating MT. (2002). Mps1 defines a proximal blastemal proliferative compartment essential for zebra fish fin regeneration. Development 129, 5141-5149.
  • Poss KD, Shen J, Nechiporuk A, McMahon G, Thisse B, Thisse C, and Keating MT. (2000). Roles for Fgf signaling during zebra fish fin regeneration. Developmental Biology 222, 347-358.
  • Poss KD, Shen J, and Keating MT. (2000). Induction of lef1 during zebra fish fin regeneration. Developmental Dynamics 219, 282-286.


Kenneth D. Poss, PhD
Department of Cell Biology

Contact Information

Office: 349 Nanaline Duke Building, Durham, NC, 27710 
Campus mail: DUMC Box 3709, Durham, NC, 27710 
Phone: 919-681-8457 
Fax: 919-684-5481