My lab studies epithelial wound healing in the emerging model cnidarian Clytia hemisphaerica. The cnidarian lineage diverged from the bilaterian lineage approximately 600 million years ago, yet many genes and processes are shared between these basal metazoans and more complex animals. Studying wound healing in Clytia allows us to understand the ancient evolutionary origins of mechanisms regulating this process. We have found that epithelial healing is 100x faster in Clytia that in other model systems. Furthermore, the single monolayer of epithelial cells and overall simplicity of Clytia anatomy allows the dynamic process of healing to be visualized at high resolution in live animals. Therefore, Clytia provides a powerful and novel model for wound healing processes that have been conserved over evolutionary time. We are currently focusing on rapid, transcription-independent signaling pathways that regulate cell interactions with the extracellular matrix during epithelial woud closure.