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Principal Investigator

Jiaqian Wu

Dr. Jiaqian Wu is an associate professor in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery and Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Dr. Wu earned her doctorate in molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where her research focused on novel mammalian gene discovery and the characterization of transcriptome complexity. Dr. Wu led the NIH Mammalian Gene Collection effort and cloned thousands of mammalian genes which are publicly available through GE Dharmacon now. During her postdoctoral training at Yale University and Stanford University, Dr. Wu employed interdisciplinary approaches including molecular and cellular biology and genomics to study gene expression, transcription factor regulation, and regulatory networks of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. She was one of the first using RNA-Seq to characterize stem cell neural differentiation process. In her independent laboratory at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School at Houston, The Wu lab has carried out unprecedented transcriptome profiling for eight highly purified neural cell types from brain by RNA-Seq. The Wu lab identified a large number of novel lncRNAs, and functional and genetic experiments substantiated the role of lncRNA in oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) formation. One of the neurological diseases that Dr. Wu is focusing on is spinal cord injury (SCI). The Wu lab has already published RNA-Seq studies for acute and chronic SCI phases (2 days, 7 days, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months after injury) in mouse and rat contusive injury models. The Wu lab provided unprecedented data source and a powerful analysis framework for functional investigations of coding and long non-coding RNAs in CNS cell types and SCI. Dr. Wu’s work has been recognized with prestigious honors and awards, including the National Institutes of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows, and the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting Travel Award, the National Institute of Health Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00), R01 and the Senator Lloyd and B.A. Bentsen Investigator Award. A reviewer for NIH, New York State Department of Health-Spinal Cord Injury Research Board, MRC, ANR, the journals Nucleic Acids Research, Genome Research, and Genome Biology, Dr. Wu has presented invited talks and lectures on stem cell biology, neuroscience, and functional genomics at international conferences, the Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the University of Florida, etc. She has developed a patent, authored two books, and wrote many articles that have appeared in PNAS, the Journal of Neuroscience, Plos Genetics, Genome Research, Genome Biology, and Nature, among others.


Current Members

Postdoctoral Fellows

Xiaomin Dong Ph.D
Yanan You Ph.D
Raquel Cuevas Ph.D
Haichao Wei Ph.D


Research Associate

Han Yan

Graduate Students

Undergraduate Students

Fanny Huang
Ashkan Rohani


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