F. Jeffrey Dilworth, PhD

Position title: Professor, Cell and Regenerative Biology

Email: fdilworth@wisc.edu

Website: Website

Phone: (608) 265-3758

Organ System/Disease Focus
Musculoskeletal Diseases, Aging, Muscular Dystrophy
Aligned Research Focus
Muscle Regeneration, Epigenetics, Gene Expression, Basic Stem Cell Science



In the Dilworth Lab, our research focuses on how muscle stem cells work to regenerate muscle tissue and how their environment can influence their ability to repair muscle damage. This capacity to regenerate is necessary to replace, grow and repair our skeletal muscle throughout our lives. When something goes wrong with the function of these stem cells (called satellite cells), muscle tissue wastes away, which is the case for people suffering from muscular dystrophies. And as we age, maintaining muscle mass becomes increasingly difficult, also a result of changes in the effectiveness of our satellite cells. We are trying to address both areas by exploring how these stem cells respond to epigenetic influences and how we can modify the muscle environment in which these satellite cells live to improve their regenerative function. We are continually expanding our understanding of the genes necessary to maintain muscle stem cells in a healthy, functional state. The Dilworth Lab aims to understand why the genes that maintain stem cells in a healthy state sometimes get turned off and how we can use epigenetics to turn these genes back on, so our satellite cells can function properly and effectively throughout our lifetime.


Selected References:

1. K. Nakka, Z. Mokhtari, H. Bandukwala, Y. Li, G. Xie, C. Liu, L. Megeney, M. Brand, X. Zha, K. Ge, F.J. Dilworth. JMJD3 activated hyaluronan synthesis drives muscle regeneration in an inflammatory environment. Science 377: 666-669, 2022.

2. Y. Li, K. Nakka, T. Olender, P. Gingras-Gelinas, M.K. Wong, D.C.L. Robinson, H. Bandukwala, C. Palii, O. Neyret, M. Brand, A. Blais, F.J. Dilworth. Chromatin and transcription factor profiling in rare stem cells populations using CUT&Tag. STAR Protocols 2: 100751, 2021. PMCID: PMC8384913

3. D.C.L. Robinson, M.Ritso, G.M. Nelson, Z. Mokhtari, K. Nakka, H. Bandukwala, S.R. Goldman, P.J. Park, R. Mounier, B. Chazaud, M. Brand, M.A. Rudnicki, K.Adelman, and F.J. Dilworth. Negative Elongation Factor (NELF) regulates muscle progenitor expansion for efficient myofiber repair and stem cell pool repopulation. Dev Cell 56: 1014-1029, 2021. PMCID: PMC8357161

4. H. Faralli, C. Wang, K. Nakka, A. Benyoucef, S. Sebastian, L. Zhuang, A. Chu, C. Palii, C. Liu, B. Camellato, M. Brand, K. Ge, and F.J. Dilworth. H3K27-demethylase activity of UTX/KDM6A is essential for skeletal muscle regeneration. J Clin Invest 126: 1555-1565, 2016. PMCID: PMC4811158