Peter Reddien

Faculty Title: 

Professor of Biology Associate Department Head Member, Whitehead Institute Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute


  • Biology



Phone Number: 

(617) 324-4043


Faculty Bio: 

Peter Reddien received his Ph.D. in Biology from MIT in 2002. His Ph.D. research focused on the molecular basis for programmed cell death in C. elegans. His postdoctoral research was performed at the Univeristy of Utah, where he developed RNAi tools for studying regeneration in planarians. He joined the faculty of the MIT Department of Biology in 2005. He is currently and HHMI Investigator, Professor and Associate Department Head of MIT Biology, and Member and Associate Director of the Whitehead Institute.

Research Areas: 

Research Summary: 

My laboratory studies the molecular and cellular basis of regeneration using planarians. Planarians contain pluripotent adult, somatic stem cells that impart the animals with almost unlimited regenerative abilities. The development of molecular tools has made planarians a new and powerful molecular, genetic system. My laboratory focuses research on stem cell biology, regeneration initiation, and the specification of missing tissue type in regeneration. I previously developed strategies for and performed the first planarian RNAi screen. My laboratory demonstrated that a pluripotent adult stem cell is the source of new cells in planarian regeneration and identified molecules guiding regeneration outcomes. We developed and utilized RNAi methods and phenotypic analysis tools to identify and study genes that control the key steps of regeneration. We previously identified the first specialized neoblast classes, discovered that muscle serves as a major site of positional information in adult planarians, developed single cell RNA sequencing for planarians, and developed many markers for studying the planarian neoblasts and regeneration.