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Principal Investigator

Jiaqian Wu

Dr. Jiaqian Wu is a Professor with Tenure in the Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery and Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.. 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 lncRNAs in oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) formation for the first time, and the role in astrogliosis. One of the neurological diseases that Dr. Wu is focusing on is spinal cord injury (SCI). The Wu lab has already published RNA-Seq and single cell RNA-Seq studies for acute and chronic SCI phases in mouse and rat injury models. The Wu lab provided valuable 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), R01s, R21s, 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, and various high impact journals. Dr. Wu has presented invited talks and lectures at national and international conferences, universities and institutions. She has developed a patent, authored two books, and wrote many articles that have appeared in Cell Reports, PNAS, the Journal of Neuroscience, Stem Cell Reports, Nature Neuroscience and Nature, among others.



Haichao Wei Ph.D

Graduate Student

Eyad Shihabeddin Ph.D

Resident physician

Joseph S Withrow

Undergraduate Students

Neha Tallapragada
Tanuj J. Prajapati

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