The self-renewal and tremendous differentiation capacities of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), hold a great promise for the development of novel therapy and the success of regenerative medicine.

Our group at UNTHSC seeks a comprehensive understanding of the biology, pathology, and clinical utility of hPSCs and their differentiated derivatives by using integrated approaches of systems, cancer and stem cell biology to study the molecular interplay of cellular pluripotency and malignancy.

 

We are  working on using hiPSC-based platforms to recapitulate oncogenic processes for studying dysregulation and heterogeneity of cell signaling involved in melanoma formation.  In addition, we are highly interested in understanding how protein glycosylation is involved in the regulatory mechanisms of cellular pluripotency, normal development and the pathogenesis of other human disease.

 

The long-term goal of our research is using hPSC-based approaches to provide new insights and opportunities in regenerative medicine and targeted therapy for better managing disease such as cancer and rare genetic disorders.

(Upper: hiPSC colonies cultured on non-proliferative feeder cells; Lower: The schematic illustration of hPSC derivation and differentiation)

(Wang et. al., Cell Research, 2014)