Aaron Sandoval

Mentor: Dr. Malcolm Maden

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

"I got involved with research because I wanted to have an impact on the field of science. I truly believe that progress and advancement are maximized when people work together. Only by sharing findings and collaborating can scientists continue to make breakthrough discoveries each and every day."


Pre-Professional Biology



Research Interests

  • Regeneration Biology

Academic Awards

  • President's Honor Roll (2017)
  • University Scholars Program (2017-2018)


  • Center for Undergraduate Research Board of Students


  • Footprints Buddy Support Program

Hobbies and Interests

  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Food

Research Description

Mechanisms of Skeletal Muscle Regeneration in Acomys vs. Mus
Regeneration has been studied exclusively in lower invertebrates and the Urodela as most mammals are only able to regenerate fetal tissue. The African spiny mouse (Acomys) represents the first time advanced regeneration has been observed in an adult mammal. Acomys has evolved a defense mechanism which involves fragile skin which tears easily when caught by a predator, allowing the mouse to escape. Subsequently, the mouse is able to regenerate extensive parts of its body. The regenerative capabilities of Acomys are being studied by comparing it to a normal mouse (Mus). When the dorsal surface of the ear has its epidermal and dermal tissues removed, the cartilaginous layer degenerates in both Acomys and Mus. However, degeneration occurs at a much earlier timepoint in Mus. Furthermore, Mus develops large, nonfunctioning cartilaginous nodules, while Acomys is able to regenerate the cartilage without scarring. When the Tibialis Anterior muscle is treated with cardiotoxin, similar patterns of regeneration are observed. Collagen XII, which indicated scarring, is present in Mus but not Acomys.