Gene Regulation of Stem Cell Maintenance and Differentiation
An average human body turns over 50,000,000,000 cells everyday. (35,000,000 cells turn over in a single minute!!) To sustain tissue integrity, adult stem cells in self-renewing somatic tissue must both proliferate and differentiate to compensate for tissue loss. Leveraging human skin as a highly accessible research platform, my lab is interested in understanding how terminal differentiation is suppressed in adult stem cells, but is rapidly activated in differentiated cells to endow the tissue-specific function. We are also interested in studying how cell type specificity is maintained.
We are currently integrating genomics, proteomics, genetics, biochemistry, and imaging to systematically characterize multiple steps of gene regulation, in both normal and diseased conditions. Our ultimate goal is to provide fundamental insights into both normal tissue homeostasis as well as disease progression.
The lab is located on the picturesque Evanston Campus at Northwestern University. We are primarily affiliated with the Department of Molecular Biosciences, with joint affiliation with the Department of Dermatology and the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center.