Prof Enrique Amaya BSc, PhD

Healing Foundation Professor

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Amphibian embryos exhibit a remarkable capacity to heal following injury, which is one of the primary reasons why they have been used for more than a century as an experimental embryological system. In particular, Xenopus embryos are able to heal following wounding within hours, without leaving a scar. Furthermore, Xenopus tadpoles are able to regenerate all the tissues in the tail, following amputation, within nine days (Li et al., 2016; Phipps et al., 2020). The ultimate aim of our work is to uncover the molecular and cellular basis of tissue formation, repair and regeneration using Xenopus as our primary model organism. More specifically, we have three specific aims in the laboratory:  1) to identify the immediate wound signals, which lead to scar free wound healing in embryos and to identify the cellular mechanisms of embryonic wound healing; 2) to assess the role of inflammation during scar free embryonic wound healing and appendage regeneration; 3) to identify master regulators of appendage regeneration. To this end, we have recently uncovered a critical role for reactive oxygen species (ROS) during tail regeneration (Love et al., 2013). This finding has provided a significant paradigm shift in our thinking about the mechanisms that facilitate scarless healing and regeneration of complex tissues. This, together with unpublished work that we have on the link between ROS and metabolism, is providing novel and exciting prospects for connecting metabolism with tissue formation and regeneration, with interesting implications to the Warburg Effect and cancer (Love et al., 2014; Chen et al., 2014; Love et al., 2015). The ultimate aim of this work is to identify new gene targets, which may form the basis of novel therapeutic and clinical applications to wound healing and tissue regeneration in human patients.


Lauren Phipps

PhD Students

Kirsten Liggat, Lynsey Steel

Final Year Project and MSci Students

Ewan Egan, Lauryn Mead, Mar Esbry

Intercalating Medical Student

Malak Metwally

Senior Research Technician

Robert Lea

Personal Assistant

Ramez Karim

External Contributions

Senior editor: Wound Repair and Regeneration (from mid-2020)


2016-present, Professor of Tissue Regeneration
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, UK

2005-2016, The Healing Foundation Professor of Tissue Regeneration
Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

1996-2005, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Sciences
Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK

1995-1996, Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow,
Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology
The Salk Institute for Biomedical Research, La Jolla, USA.
Advisors: Raymond Keller/Chris Kintner

1993-1995, Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow,
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California at Berkeley, USA.
Advisor: Raymond Keller

1986-1992, Ph.D.
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
University of California at San Francisco, USA.
Advisor: Marc Kirschner

1984-1986, Research Assistant
Department of Biology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
Advisor: Kerry Bloom

1980-1984, BSc w/ Highest Honors
Department of Zoology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
Thesis advisor: Kerry Bloom

Research Networks and Beacons


  • Repair, Regeneration, Embryogenesis, Growth Factor Signalling

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