Dr. Dachun Wang
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Institute of Molecular Medicine
The research goal in the laboratory is to direct the embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation into distal lung stem/ progenitor cells, including alveolar type II (ATII) epithelial cells and lower airway Clara cells, for the purpose of lung disease modeling and tissue regeneration. To reach this goal, we have developed a reliable procedure to select and characterize the ES derived ATII cells in vitro and in vivo. Using ES derived lung stem/progenitor cells as models will allow us to identify the factors/regulatory pathways that control the self-renewal, and determine whether the distal lung stem/progenitor cells undergo proliferation or differentiation during various biological and disease processes.
A tutorial in my laboratory will demonstrate and offer the students the opportunity to experience current techniques of molecular biology, cell biology, and stem cell biology. The students will also be able to explore the central mechanisms on how the lung stem/progenitor cells participate in physiological and pathological processes for maintaining the homeostasis. In addition, ES cell culture, genetic manipulation of ES cells, and stem cell transplantation are routinely performed in the laboratory. Tutorial will be available to highly motivated students who participate in medically relevant research projects.