Welcome to the Stem Cell Plasticity in Tissue Repair and Regeneration Call for Papers

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– Guest Editors –

Scott D. Olson

Michelina Iacovino

Che Connon

– Calls for Papers for a PLOS ONE Collection –  

Stem cells bring hope to revolutionize biomedical fields given their potential to give rise to any cell type in the body. Even though our basic knowledge of stem cell biology has greatly advanced over the past decades, this has so far only translated into a limited number of approved therapies. The ability to regenerate damaged or lost tissues requires a profound understanding of the dynamic and context-dependent functions of stem cells, coupled with the exploration of innovative biomedical approaches.

To highlight the interdisciplinary nature of current stem cell research, PLOS ONE is pleased to launch a Call for Papers covering basic, translational and clinical research focusing on the role of stem cells in tissue repair and regeneration. PLOS ONE welcomes submissions covering a broad range of topics, such as the basic mechanisms of stem cell maintenance and differentiation, the interaction between stem cells and their tissue microenvironment, and the design of stem cell-based biomaterials for tissue engineering.

In line with PLOS ONE publication ethos, we welcome solid and clearly reported studies regardless of the perceived impact and positive nature of the main findings. In the fast-paced field of stem cell research, addressing publication bias is particularly important to advance knowledge and bring new therapies to the clinic.

Research topics covered include:

  • Molecular cell biology studies of stem cell differentiation, self-renewal and cell reprogramming.
  • In vivo research exploring the regenerative potential of stem cells within their tissue microenvironment.
  • Developmental biology studies involving the characterization of stem cell properties in non-mouse model systems such as Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Xenopus laevis, and zebrafish.
  • Preclinical and translational research investigating the therapeutic potential of endogenous or exogenous stem cells.
  • Biomedical engineering studies exploring stem cell-based biomaterials and organoid systems for regenerative medicine.
  • Advances in engineering the stem cell niche either in vitro or in vivo.
  • Clinical research on therapeutic applications of stem cell treatments.
  • Therapeutic potential of stem cell-derived paracrine factors such as extracellular vesicles, cytokines, and microRNAs.
  • New tools for stem cell research, such as lineage-tracing methods, differentiation protocols, and reprogramming approaches.

Articles should be submitted by December 20, 2019. Accepted articles that fall into the scope described above will be included in a Collection that will be published in early 2020. 

When submitting to the Collection, select the Article Type “Research Article” and enter “Stem Cell Plasticity in Tissue Repair and Regeneration” in the “Collections and Calls for Papers” field in the Additional Information section of the submission form. Please also specify that you are submitting to the Call for Papers “Stem Cell Plasticity in Tissue Repair and Regeneration” in your cover letter.


– Meet the Editors –


Scott D. Olson

Guest Editor, PLOS ONE

Scott Olson is a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) Biologist working in the Children’s Program in Regenerative Medicine in the Department of Pediatric Surgery at McGovern School of Medicine. Dr. Olson completed his doctorate in the lab of Dr. Darwin Prockop at Tulane University’s Center for Gene Therapy studying novel methods by which MSCs can contribute to tissue repair. At University of California at Davis’s Health Sciences Institute for Regenerative Cures with Dr. Jan Nolta, Dr. Olson worked to apply MSCs as a platform to develop new treatments for Huntington’s Disease. Dr. Olson joined UTHealth in September 2011.

Dr. Olson is involved in developing and transitioning studies with direct translational applications. At UT Health, his primary focus is bringing his expertise in the field of adult stem cells, specifically MSCs, to explore their potential in the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and in trauma-associated neuroinflammation in general. MSCs have been used in a number of completed, ongoing, and proposed clinical trials with reported therapeutic benefits. Dr. Olson strives to better describe the role of MSCs in injuries of the central nervous system, highlighting their innate therapeutic abilities in an effort to create an improved treatment for TBI.


Michelina Iacovino

Guest Editor, PLOS ONE

Michelina Iacovino is an Assistant Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Principal Investigator at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LABioMed) at Harbor-UCLA in the Pediatrics Department.

She obtained her Doctorate in Italy in Biochemistry and Applied Chemistry working on mitochondrial DNA inheritance in yeast in collaboration with Dr. Ronal Butow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She then trained in the field of hematopoietic stem cells with Dr. Michael Kyba during her postdoctoral fellowship, studying the role of Hox genes during blood development. She joined LABioMed in 2012, extending her expertise of stem cell biology to develop treatments for rare lysosomal disorders that affect brain function. She is currently developing a stem cell therapy for Sanfilippo syndrome, an incurable and rare lysosomal disorder, using neural progenitor cells.


Che Connon

Guest Editor, PLOS ONE

Che Connon obtained his PhD in Biophysics from the Open University Oxford Research Unit in 2000, during which time (under the supervision of Professor Keith Meek) he investigated corneal wound healing and transparency. He subsequently obtained a JSPS post-doctoral fellowship to work with Professor Shigeru Kinoshita in Kyoto, Japan for two years studying corneal stem cell transplantation. Upon his return to the UK he was awarded a Royal Society Fellowship to investigate the use of biomaterials in stem cell therapies. He obtained his first permanent position in 2007 at University of Reading, School of Pharmacy and since 2014 he has held the position of Professor of Tissue Engineering at Newcastle University.

Professor Connon’s research team seeks to engineer functional replacement and temporary 'bridge' tissues using a modular approach while also developing model systems to study physiological and pathophysiological corneal tissue formation. He is currently working with smart (cell responsive) biomaterials, characterizing the mechanical and geometric environment of the corneal stem cell niche and 3D printing the corneal stroma.

– PLOS ONE Handling Editors –

Shama Ahmad Tadayuki Akagi Carlos Ambrósio Atsushi Asakura
Catherine Berry Cesar Borlongan Jorge Burns Zhongjian Cheng
Ming-Chang Chiang Hyojung Choo Tracy Criswell Eftekhar Eftekharpour
Leonard Eisenberg Venkata Garikipati Warren Grayson Yiru Guo
Christian Jorgensen Subhash Kulkarni Myon-Hee Lee Nic Leipzig
Zongjin Li Vincenzo Lionetti Paolo Madeddu Frédérique Magdinier
Sabata Martino Antonio Musaro Jin Nam Lygia Pereira
Johnson Rajasingh Mauricio Rojas Jon Schoorlemmer Sanbing Shen
Wei Shi Manvendra Singh Dinender Singla Maria Cristina Vinci


 PLOS Papers Illustrating the Collection Scope –

Neuronal Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Using Exosomes Derived from Differentiating Neuronal Cells

Authors: Yuji S. Takeda, Qiaobing Xu

PLOS ONEAugust 6, 2015

Efficient and robust differentiation of endothelial cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells via lineage control with VEGF and cyclic AMP

Authors: Takeshi Ikuno, Hidetoshi Masumoto, Kohei Yamamizu, Miki Yoshioka, Kenji Minakata, Tadashi Ikeda, Ryuzo Sakata, Jun K. Yamashita

PLOS ONEMarch 13, 2017

Purified Human Synovium Mesenchymal Stem Cells as a Good Resource for Cartilage Regeneration

Authors: Yusuke Ogata, Yo Mabuchi, Mayu Yoshida, Eriko Grace Suto, Nobuharu Suzuki, Takeshi Muneta, Ichiro Sekiya, Chihiro Akazawa

PLOS ONEJune 15, 2015

3D Functional Corneal Stromal Tissue Equivalent Based on Corneal Stromal Stem Cells and Multi-Layered Silk Film Architecture

Authors: Chiara E. Ghezzi, Benedetto Marelli, Fiorenzo G. Omenetto, James L. Funderburgh, David L. Kaplan

PLOS ONEJanuary 18, 2017

Engineered stem cell niche matrices for rotator cuff tendon regenerative engineering

Authors: M. Sean Peach, Daisy M. Ramos, Roshan James, Nicole L. Morozowich, Augustus D. Mazzocca, Steven B. Doty, Harry R. Allcock, Sangamesh G. Kumbar, Cato T. Laurencin

PLOS ONEApril 3, 2017

Pax7 remodels the chromatin landscape in skeletal muscle stem cells

Authors: Karin C. Lilja, Nan Zhang , Alessandro Magli , Volkan Gunduz , Christopher J. Bowman, Robert W. Arpke, Radbod Darabi, Michael Kyba, Rita Perlingeiro, Brian D. Dynlacht

PLOS ONEApril 25, 2017


Publishing Process

We aim to be as transparent as possible about our publishing and peer review processes. Papers submitted to PLOS ONE and under consideration for the Stem Cell Plasticity in Tissue Repair and Regeneration Collection will be specially handled by hand-selected active researchers from our Editorial Board working in this area, in partnership with staff editor Dario Ummarino.

For more information, please see the Editorial and Peer Review Information page for PLOS ONE.


Submission Instructions

Are you ready to submit or want to learn more about how the submission process works? To make it as easy as possible for our communities, we have all of our submission instructions posted online. If there are any details you can’t find, please email us at

When submitting to the Collection, select the Article Type “Research Article” and enter “Stem Cell Plasticity in Tissue Repair and Regeneration” in the “Collections and Calls for Papers” field in the Additional Information section of the submission form. Please also specify that you are submitting to the Call for Papers “Stem Cell Plasticity in Tissue Repair and Regeneration” in your cover letter.


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