The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Neurosurgery and Institute of Molecular Medicine
Wu laboratory combines neuroscience, stem cell biology and systems-based approaches involving genomics, bioinformatics and functional assays to unravel gene transcription and regulatory mechanisms in neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration. We have carried out unprecedented transcriptome profiling for eight types of highly purified neuron, glia and vascular cells from brain by RNA-Seq. We identified many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), and our functional and genetic experiments substantiated the role of lncRNA in astrocyte activation, and oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) formation for the first time. Additionally, using single cell RNA-Seq approach, we identified previously uncharacterized glial progenitor populations and are investigating their functions in regeneration.
One major focus of our group is understanding the mechanisms and developing effective and safe treatment for spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative diseases. We have published protein coding and lncRNA gene expression in multiple acute and chronic spinal cord injury phases in mouse and rat models. We provided unprecedented data source and a powerful analysis framework for functional investigations of lncRNAs in CNS cell types. We also have deposited the complete datasets of purified brain cell types and spinal cord injury in databases displayed using an interactive web browser for analyzing and comparing protein-coding, lncRNA gene transcription as well as alternative splicing profiles. It serves as a widely used data source for the research community.
The other area of our research interest lies in the studies of the regulatory networks of stem and progenitor cell self-renewal and differentiation. Our goal is to identify and modulate key regulators as therapeutic targets.
Education & Training
Ph.D. - Baylor College of Medicine - 2005