Phillip Newmark, PhD

Credentials: Morgridge Institute for Research, Integrative Biology

Position title: HHMI Investigator


Website: Lab Website

Phone: 608-316-4105

Organ System/Disease Focus
Aligned Research Focus
Invertebrate stem cell biology

News Releases:

Study sheds light on how planarians regenerate germ cells

The big gulp: Inside-out protection of parasitic worms against host defenses

Parasite paralysis: A new way to fight schistosomiasis?

Tiny Creature Could Help Prevent Devastating Parasitic Disease

Twitter: @planapalooza

Research Description

Current research in my laboratory is directed at understanding the mechanisms by which planarian somatic stem cells (known as neoblasts) produce the germ cells and various differentiated cell lineages in the animal. These studies address fundamental questions pertaining to the establishment, maintenance, and loss of pluripotency, the specification of cell fates during development and homeostasis, the remodeling of differentiated tissues, and how these developmental processes are regulated systemically. We have also been applying our knowledge of planarians to to help understand the biology of parasitic flatworms. We have identified neoblast-like cells in adult and larval stages of schistosomes, and traced them through the life cycle using single-cell transcriptomics and cell biological approaches. Our goal is to understand the features shared between planarians and schistosomes, as well as the features unique to parasitic lineages, that may be used to disrupt parasite survival and propagation.

Selected References:

1. Issigonis, M., Redkar, A.B., Rozario, T., Khan, U.W., Mejia-Sanchez, R., Lapan, S.W., Reddien, P.W., and P.A. Newmark. 2022. A Krüppel-like factor is required for development and regeneration of germline and yolk cells from somatic stem cells in planarians. PLOS Biology 20: e3001472.

2. Khan, U.W., and P.A. Newmark. 2022. Somatic regulation of female germ cell regeneration and development in planarians. Cell Reports 38: 110525.

3. Wang, B., Lee, J., Li, P., Saberi, A., Yang, H., Liu, C., Zhao, M., and P.A. Newmark. 2018. Stem cell heterogeneity drives the parasitic life cycle of Schistosoma mansoni. eLife 7: e35449.

4. Saberi, A., Jamal, A., Beets, I., Schoofs, L., and P.A. Newmark. 2016. GPCRs direct germline development and somatic gonad function in planarians. PLOS Biology 14: e1002457 (cover).

5. Collins III, J.J., Wang, B., Lambrus, B.G., Tharp, M., Iyer, H., and P.A. Newmark. 2013. Adult somatic stem cells in the human parasite, Schistosoma mansoni. Nature 494: 476-479.