Dr. Lester Laus laboratory investigates the roles of extracellular matrix signaling in wound healing and tissue repair, including pathologies associated with dysfunctional wound healing such as fibrosis and cancer. Since his laboratory first described members of the CCN family of matricellular proteins, they have made seminal contributions to understanding their functions, including their integrin-mediated activities in cardiovascular development, regulation of inflammation, as well as induction of angiogenesis, chondrogenesis, apoptosis, and senescence.Dr. Lau and his labs current studies in skin wound healing, experimental colitis, and liver injuries have revealed unique functions of CCN1 in tissue regeneration, neutrophil homeostasis, and fibrosis resolution. He has a history of productivity (Scopus h-index = 65) and continuous funding from the NIH in the last 30 years. As a faculty member, he has directly supervised the research training of over 45 graduate studies and postdoctoral fellows.Dr. Lau has been the PhD mentor of 25 graduate students who completed their PhD theses in my laboratory, six of whom were MD-PhD students. From 1991 to 2008 he was co-director of graduate studies in my home department, first in the Dept. of Genetics and later in the Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at UIC. During this period, his responsibilities included overseeing the recruitment of graduate students, development of the graduate curriculum, advising graduate students, and following their progress through the PhD program. In their recruitment efforts, they visited colleges and universities in the Midwestern states to inform potential students of their UIC graduate program. Under that role, Dr. Lau also participated in, and worked closely with, the Bridge to the Doctorate program, a UIC program to increase admission of students from underrepresented minorities.His research is focused on extracellular matrix signaling in wound healing and tissue repair.