University of Minnesota
MICaB Graduate Program
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Current Students

Michael Vanden Oever

Thesis Advisor: Jakub Tolar

Year entered: 2011

Degrees received:
B.S., University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, WI 2008

Honors and Awards:

  • T32 Stem Cell Training Grant 2013
  • MICaB Travel Award 2016
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 2016-2017

Thesis research:

Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB) is a severe inherited skin disorder characterized by loss of skin integrity and chronic blistering. Complications such as systemic infections and aggressive squamous cell carcinoma are common and life-threatening for individuals with this disorder. Recently, cell based therapies including hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) have shown to be effective in ameliorating this disease, but certain aspects of this treatment are not well characterized. RDEB is caused by mutations in COL7A1, the gene encoding for type VII collagen, which is the principal component of anchoring fibrils that form at the dermal-epidermal junction. My research aims to better understand how the various drugs used in the HCT preparative regimen affect type VII collagen expression in hopes to better understand how the transplant process influences RDEB patients.  My research also focuses on unknown mechanisms of regulation of type VII collagen, including post transcriptional regulation via microRNAs.


  • Vanden Oever, M., Muldoon, D., Mathews, W., McElmurry, R., and J. Tolar. 2016. miR-29 Regulates Type VII Collagen in Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Journal of Investigative Dermatology
  • Vanden Oever MJ and Tolar J. 2014. Advances in understanding and treating dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. F1000Prime Rep. 6:35