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Tudorita Tumbar receives Humboldt Research Award

Tudorita Tumbar, professor of molecular biology and genetics in the College of Arts and Sciences, has received a Humboldt Research Award “for outstanding academics at the peak of their careers” to pursue a promising collaboration with researchers in Germany.

Tumbar leads a research group in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics working on the molecular mechanisms that control the fate of hair follicle stem cells. With the award, Tumbar and her lab will continue a collaboration, begun in fall 2019, with the lab of Carien Niessen, a professor at Cologne University.

Specifically, the group is looking into unexpected differences, discovered by the Tumbar lab, in patterns and rates of skin cell regeneration. The Niessen lab is particularly interested in biochemical signaling in skin cells.

“Together,” Tumbar said, “we hope to address how the heterogeneous skin domains and stem cells we have identified might be affected by or contributing to mechanical forces and stresses in the skin.”

Tumbar’s research looks into stem cell regulation, tissue regeneration and gene expression in mouse and human skin. It has implications in wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Tumbar has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation.

The Humboldt Foundation, based in Bonn, Germany, promotes international cultural dialogue and academic change by connecting international scholars with German host scholars.

Kate Blackwood is a writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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