Peter Reddien

Peter Reddien

Professor of Biology; Associate Department Head; Member and Associate Director, Whitehead Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Peter Reddien works to unravel one of the greatest mysteries in biology — how organisms regenerate missing body parts.





Nicholas Polizzi



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, 2002, MIT
  • SB, 1996, Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin

Research Summary

We investigate how stem cells are regulated to regenerate missing tissues. We study the cellular events involved in this process and the attendant roles for regulatory genes that control regeneration steps. We utilize an array of methodologies, including high-throughput sequencing, RNA interference (RNAi) screening, and numerous assays and tools for phenotypic analysis to characterize regeneration regulatory genes.


  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, HHMI Investigator, 2013

Key Publications

  1. Eye Absence Does Not Regulate Planarian Stem Cells during Eye Regeneration. LoCascio, SA, Lapan, SW, Reddien, PW. 2017. Dev Cell 40, 381-391.e3.
    doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2017.02.002PMID:28245923
  2. A Generic and Cell-Type-Specific Wound Response Precedes Regeneration in Planarians. Wurtzel, O, Cote, LE, Poirier, A, Satija, R, Regev, A, Reddien, PW. 2015. Dev Cell 35, 632-645.
    doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.11.004PMID:26651295
  3. Muscle cells provide instructions for planarian regeneration. Witchley, JN, Mayer, M, Wagner, DE, Owen, JH, Reddien, PW. 2013. Cell Rep 4, 633-41.
    doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.07.022PMID:23954785
  4. Polarized notum activation at wounds inhibits Wnt function to promote planarian head regeneration. Petersen, CP, Reddien, PW. 2011. Science 332, 852-5.
    doi: 10.1126/science.1202143PMID:21566195
  5. Clonogenic neoblasts are pluripotent adult stem cells that underlie planarian regeneration. Wagner, DE, Wang, IE, Reddien, PW. 2011. Science 332, 811-6.
    doi: 10.1126/science.1203983PMID:21566185

Recent Publications

  1. activin-2 is required for regeneration of polarity on the planarian anterior-posterior axis. Cloutier, JK, McMann, CL, Oderberg, IM, Reddien, PW. 2021. PLoS Genet 17, e1009466.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009466PMID:33780442
  2. Muscle and neuronal guidepost-like cells facilitate planarian visual system regeneration. Scimone, ML, Atabay, KD, Fincher, CT, Bonneau, AR, Li, DJ, Reddien, PW. 2020. Science 368, .
    doi: 10.1126/science.aba3203PMID:32586989
  3. A small set of conserved genes, including sp5 and Hox, are activated by Wnt signaling in the posterior of planarians and acoels. Tewari, AG, Owen, JH, Petersen, CP, Wagner, DE, Reddien, PW. 2019. PLoS Genet 15, e1008401.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008401PMID:31626630
  4. The cells of regeneration. Reddien, PW. 2019. Science 365, 314-316.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aay3660PMID:31346049
  5. Nuclear receptor NR4A is required for patterning at the ends of the planarian anterior-posterior axis. Li, DJ, McMann, CL, Reddien, PW. 2019. Elife 8, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.42015PMID:31025936
  6. Muscle functions as a connective tissue and source of extracellular matrix in planarians. Cote, LE, Simental, E, Reddien, PW. 2019. Nat Commun 10, 1592.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09539-6PMID:30962434
  7. Cellular and Molecular Responses Unique to Major Injury Are Dispensable for Planarian Regeneration. Tewari, AG, Stern, SR, Oderberg, IM, Reddien, PW. 2018. Cell Rep 25, 2577-2590.e3.
    doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.11.004PMID:30485821
  8. foxF-1 Controls Specification of Non-body Wall Muscle and Phagocytic Cells in Planarians. Scimone, ML, Wurtzel, O, Malecek, K, Fincher, CT, Oderberg, IM, Kravarik, KM, Reddien, PW. 2018. Curr Biol 28, 3787-3801.e6.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.10.030PMID:30471994
  9. Clonal Analysis of Planarian Stem Cells by Subtotal Irradiation and Single-Cell Transplantation. Wang, IE, Wagner, DE, Reddien, PW. 2018. Methods Mol Biol 1774, 479-495.
    doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7802-1_20PMID:29916173
  10. Cell type transcriptome atlas for the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Fincher, CT, Wurtzel, O, de Hoog, T, Kravarik, KM, Reddien, PW. 2018. Science 360, .
    doi: 10.1126/science.aaq1736PMID:29674431
More Publications





Photo credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute