My project aims to parse out how transcriptional networks regulate the activation of horizontal basal cells (HBCs), the resident stem cells of the olfactory epithelium (OE). Upon massive injury, these normally dormant stem cells acquire multipotency and repopulate the OE by driving neurogenesis. My work focuses on p63, a transcription factor that has been demonstrated to play a crucial role in maintaining stemness of the HBCs; past work has established that the reduction of p63 releases the HBCs from their dormant state. By leveraging next-generation sequencing, tissue culture assays, and gene expression assays, I will conduct a small-molecule screen to identify suppressors/enhancers of p63 activity in vitro. My long-term goal will be to use these molecules to modulate the activity of p63 in vivo following injury.