Principal Investigator of Life Sciences, Westlake University

YOSIA——Xiaofei GAO

Our long-term interest is to understand how stem/progenitor cell fates are determined via coordination of multiple cellular factors and environmental signals under normal and stressed conditions.  Stem/progenitor cells can respond to extrinsic and intrinsic signaling cues, and decide whether to undergo self-renewal or a differentiation division. This decision plays a key role in tissue regeneration and maintaining tissue  homeostasis. We have used genetic, cell biology, molecular biology and  biochemical approaches to systematically analyze mechanisms by which cells  integrate extrinsic and intrinsic signals to make developmental decisions. In addition, by using single-cell RNA sequencing technology, we have dissected the  heterogeneity within a cell population and discovered novel mechanisms underlying stem cell self-renewal. More importantly, building on our basic  research, we have discovered several drugs that can retain or promote the self-renewal capacity of certain stem cells for therapeutic purposes.