Peter Reddien

Peter Reddien

Professor of Biology; Core 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.





Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research


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. A transcription factor atlas of stem cell fate in planarians. King, HO, Owusu-Boaitey, KE, Fincher, CT, Reddien, PW. 2024. Cell Rep 43, 113843.
    doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2024.113843PMID:38401119
  2. Fate specification is spatially intermingled across planarian stem cells. Park, C, Owusu-Boaitey, KE, Valdes, GM, Reddien, PW. 2023. Nat Commun 14, 7422.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-43267-2PMID:37973979
  3. The planarian wound epidermis gene equinox is required for blastema formation in regeneration. Scimone, ML, Cloutier, JK, Maybrun, CL, Reddien, PW. 2022. Nat Commun 13, 2726.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-30412-6PMID:35585061
  4. Planarian stem cells specify fate yet retain potency during the cell cycle. Raz, AA, Wurtzel, O, Reddien, PW. 2021. Cell Stem Cell 28, 1307-1322.e5.
    doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2021.03.021PMID:33882291
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. The cells of regeneration. Reddien, PW. 2019. Science 365, 314-316.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aay3660PMID:31346049
  9. 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
  10. 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
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