Erik Black

Using zebrafish as an in vivo model, ISCRM Fellow Erik Black will advance research efforts underway to better understand the mechanisms underlying the transition from stem cells to specialized cells by studying the development of mechanosensory Merkel cells in the skin. In his project, Black will focus on molecular and morphological characterization of the transition from stem cell to Merkel cell and will further analyze how the peripheral neurons in the skin influence this process and other stem cell processes. Findings from this research will provide insights into skin homeostasis, development, and related diseases, while also shedding light on the role of the microenvironment on stem cell dynamics and cell differentiation.