Plikus, Maksim, Ph.D.

Maksim Plikus, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Plikus received his Ph.D. degree in Pathology from the University of Southern California, where he worked with Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong and carried out studies on the mechanism of hair stem cell regeneration. Later he joined Dr. George Cotsarelis at the University of Pennsylvania to work on the wound regeneration. Dr. Plikus is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology at the University of California, Irvine.

Research in Lay Terms
The Plikus’ lab is interested to understand how complex tissues and organs regenerate under normal conditions and in response to injury or disease. One goal is to understand how thousands of stem cells coordinate their activities with one another. Another goal is to understand the natural limits of stem cell plasticity in response to tissue injury.

Research Focus
The Plikus’ lab focuses on the basic principles of stem cell coordination and organ regeneration using adult skin and wounds as the key experimental models.

Detail on Research
Dr. Plikus’ lab is interested in understanding the nature of stem cell regulatory networks and their role in regeneration. Instead of focusing on individual stem cells, his lab studies the activities of thousands of stem cells at the same time. To do so his laboratory is using the model of hair regeneration where all hair stem cells in the skin can be studied as a single network. Hair stem cells within the networks regenerate by forming patterns. Dr. Plikus is interested to understand the mechanism of this pattern-based regeneration and how stem cell coordination can be modulated to optimize current stem cell-based therapies. Dr. Plikus’ laboratory is also interested in understanding the natural limits of stem cell plasticity in response to injury. His laboratory is using the model of wound healing to study the phenomenon of adipose tissue regeneration in skin scars. Using this model, Dr. Plikus wants to learn about the mechanisms of embryonic-like regeneration in adult organs. Work in this direction aims to develop new anti-scarring therapeutic approaches for wound healing and other fibrotic conditions.


Department Affiliations
Department of Developmental and Cell Biology