|Kejin Hu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
Area of Focus: Somatic cell nuclear reprogramming, genetic modification of human pluripotent stem cells (PSC), pluripotency and self-renewal of pluripotent stem cells, and differentiation of PSC into blood lineage.Publications
Lab Research Focus: Somatic cell nuclear reprogramming, genetic modification of human pluripotent stem cells (PSC), pluripotency and self-renewal of pluripotent stem cells, and differentiation of PSC into blood lineage.
Dr. Hu’s lab is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of somatic cell nuclear reprogramming, improvement of reprogramming technology, and genetic modification of pluripotent stem cells. 1) Mechanisms of somatic cell nuclear reprogramming. It has been known for decades that MII oocyte posses a powerful reprogramming capacity, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms of this amazing process. In 2006, it was found that a combination of four transcript factors, Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4, can reprogram the somatic cells back to pluripotency, but the reprogramming process remains a grand black box to scientists. Yet, iPS technology provides a powerful tool to dissect the reprogramming process. Dr. Hu’s lab is intensely involved in deciphering the mechanistic steps of somatic cell nuclear reprogramming; 2) direct reprogramming with defined factors is still a long, inefficient and stochastic process. The lab’s second goal is to develop efficient reprogramming technologies for reprogramming of human somatic cells. 3) The lab is also interested in genetic modification of pluripotent stem cells, especially, by homologous recombination. Dr. Hu’s lab will address these questions with an array of new approaches (molecular biology, genetics, high-throughput screening and bioinformatics). Ultimately, the laboratory’s goal is to understand the control of pluripotency and self-renewal of PSC.