Laboratory of Jia Qian Wu, Ph.D.

General Research Interests

Wu laboratory combines stem cell biology and systems-based approaches involving genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and functional assays to unravel gene transcription and regulatory mechanisms governing stem cell differentiation. One major focus of our group is investigating stem cell neural differentiation and developing effective and safe treatment for spinal cord injury and neurological diseases. We are studying gene expression and the regulation of transcription factors and regulatory RNAs using next-generation sequencing technologies including RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq. These studies are crucial in understanding the molecular mechanism of stem cell neural differentiation and its clinical implications. Our goal is to identify and modulate key regulators as therapeutic targets to direct the differentiation of stem cell into neural cells more efficiently, and to increase transplantation safety.

The other area of our research interest lies in the studies of the regulatory networks of hematopoietic precursor cell self-renewal and differentiation using multipotent EML (erythroid, myeloid, and lymphocytic) cell as a model system. We are using integrated genomic and proteomic approaches to identify key components that control the switch. We have identified TCF7, together with RUNX1 are important regulators in this process. Future study will generate a global interaction network and a novel and comprehensive view of the regulation of earl stages of hematopoietic precursor self-renewal and differentiation. This study can serve as a model for the analysis of cell self-renewal and differentiation in general and provide insight for efficient expanding and manipulating hematopoietic precursor and stem cells, including reprogramming partially differentiated cells to return them to a self-renewing state.

Research Projects