Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Contact Details

64 3 470 4695
Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy
BSc(Hons) PhD(Otago)
Research summary
Developmental biology and genetics
  • Developmental biology
  • Genetics and gene regulation
  • HUBS 192, ANAT 243, ANAT 334, ANAT 456, GENE 315, GENE 400, ELM 3


Understanding idiopathic disease using mouse models

We are using the mouse model as a way to understand the biology behind two disorders who etiology is poorly understood.

Sex-dimorphic brain development

This research programme is aimed at understanding how the sex of an individual effects differentiation of the brain, and how this is associated with behavior or risk of neurological damage and disease. Early development of the genital ridge and disorders of sex development.

Whole Body Regeneration model: Botrylloides leachi

Animals capable of some sort of regeneration are distributed widely throughout most phyla. The most dramatic example of such the regenerative process is whole body regeneration (WBR), the process of regenerating an entire adult organism from only a small number of cells or amount of tissue. From an evolutionary perspective, as animal body and tissue complexity increases, regenerative (and particularly WBR) ability decreases concomitantly.

An exception to this is Botrylloides leachi, an invertebrate colonial sea squirt that can undergo WBR. As a chordate (processing a notochord), B. leachi is a close phylogenetic relative of vertebrates and provides an excellent model for vertebrate regeneration.


Clarke, R. M., Meier, M., & Wilson, M. J. (2024). Genome-wide analysis of early vascular tunic repair and regeneration for Botrylloides digenesis reveals striking similarities to human wound healing. Developmental Biology, 509, 28-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2024.02.003 Journal - Research Article

McCallum-Loudeac, J., Moody, E., Williams, J., Johnstone, G., Sircombe, K. J., Clarkson, A. N., & Wilson, M. J. (2024). Deletion of a conserved genomic region associated with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis leads to vertebral rotation in mice. Human Molecular Genetics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddae011 Journal - Research Article

Temiz, B., Clarke, R. M., Page, M., Lamare, M., & Wilson, M. J. (2024). Identification and characterisation of Botrylloides (Styelidae) species from Aotearoa New Zealand coasts. New Zealand Journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, 58(2), 255-273. doi: 10.1080/00288330.2023.2215534 Journal - Research Article

Temiz, B., Meier, M., & Wilson, M. J. (2023). Unravelling the secrets of chordate whole-body regeneration using single-cell and ATAC sequencing. Proceedings of the Genetics Otago (GO) Annual Symposium & Workshops. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Ajay Sharma, L., Ramesh, N., Sharma, A., Ratnayake, J. T. B., Love, R. M., Alavi, S. E., Wilson, M. J., & Dias, G. J. (2023). In vitro effects of wool-derived keratin on human dental pulp-derived stem cells for endodontic applications. British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2023.08.240 Journal - Research Article

Back to top