Volk Laboratory

In the postnatal organism, adult stem cells provide a source of new cells for the routine Penn Vet, Volk Laboratory, migrating keratinocytesmaintenance or repair, in response to injury, of tissues or organs.  These stem cells hold particular promise in the field of tissue engineering to replace tissue or improve organ function damaged by congenital defects, age, disease or trauma.  

The research interests of the Volk Laboratory focus on defining regulatory cues important to direct progenitor and stem cell homing to sites of injury, as well as, in vitro and in vivo signals important to direct their differentiation into appropriate target cell types for use in tissue engineering strategies in human and veterinary medicine.

This work includes defining cellular and molecular mechanisms by which mesenchymal progenitor cells improve cutaneous wound repair and elucidating the role of the extracellular matrix in modulating reparative and progenitor cell activities during tissue repair and regeneration.

In addition, the Volk Laboratory is dedicated to defining optimal donor characteristics and ex vivo expansion protocols necessary to develop successful MSC-based therapeutic strategies in canine patients.  

This federally funded (NIH), private foundation, and industry sponsored research has basic science and translational components, including clinical trials in veterinary patients.