Adult stem cells are cells within the body that have the ability to transform into other types of cells. The human body is constantly regenerating, creating new cells to take the place of dead cells. In some diseases, the cells the body most need are made defective or just not made at all.
In my lab, we’re studying how adult stem cells can be used as a therapy for diabetes. Patients with diabetes have trouble making and processing insulin, which takes sugar from the bloodstream and uses it to fuel muscle, fat and liver cells. Right now, patients with diabetes take insulin injections to control their sugar levels, but it doesn’t work very well.
We want to find a way to encourage stem cells in the pancreas to become insulin-producing cells. Many researchers are looking at how to remove stem cells and reconfigure them before giving them back to the patient. Our lab is taking a different approach.
Using robots, we’re testing the reactions of different chemicals on the adult stem cells in order to get them to replicate and turn into insulin-producing cells. What we hope to find is a therapeutic that a patient can take that will cause the stem cells to transform without ever having to remove them from the patient. We think this process can also help find treatments for diseases in which certain types of cells are destroyed, like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
B.M., Medicine, Shanghai Medical University, China, 1988
M.Sc., Basic Medicine, Fudan University Medical Center, China, 2000
Ph.D., Genetics & Development, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2006
Postdoc, Regenerative Medicine & Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, CA, 2008
Postdoc, Regenerative Medicine & Chemical Biology, Genomics Institute of Novartis Research Foundation, San Diego, CA, 2009
Honors & Awards
1999 Orient Scholarship, Ministry of Education, China
2000-2002 Dean’s Fellowship, Columbia University, New York
International Society for Stem Cell Research
Society for Biomolecular Sciences
Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening
Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2011
Shen W, Tremblay MS, Deshmukh VA, Wang W, Filippi CM, Harb G, Zhang YQ, Kamireddy A, Baaten JE, Jin Q, Wu T, Swoboda JG, Cho CY, Li J, Laffitte BA, McNamara P, Glynne R, Wu X, Herman AE, Schultz PG. Small-Molecule Inducer of beta Cell Proliferation Identified by High-Throughput Screening. J Am Chem Soc 135:1669-1672, 2013. [Abstract]
Lim HY, Wang W, Wessells RJ, Ocorr K, Bodmer R. Phospholipid homeostasis regulates lipid metabolism and cardiac function through SREBP signaling in Drosophila. Genes Dev 25:189-200, 2011. [Abstract]
Wang W, Walker JR, Wang X, Tremblay MS, Lee JW, Wu X, Schultz PG. Identification of small-molecule inducers of pancreatic beta-cell expansion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:1427-1432, 2009. [Abstract]
Wang W, Struhl G. Distinct roles for mind bomb, neuralized and epsin in mediating DSL endocytosis and signaling in Drosophila. Development 132:2883-2894, 2005. [Abstract]
Wang W, Struhl G. Drosophila Epsin mediates a select endocytic pathway that DSL ligands must enter to activate Notch. Development 131:5367-5380, 2004. [Abstract]
Immunobiology & Cancer Research Program, MS 29
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-7906 or 271-7917 or 271-2529
Fax: (405) 271-7128