Research Interests

Hematopoiesis or blood cell formation is a sophisticated biological process which gives rise to dozens of functionally divergent blood cells. Dysregulation of this process is repeatedly seen in many kinds of human diseases including cancers. Our laboratory is thus keen to understand the mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of the cellular components of the blood system and how their dysregulations incur diseases. Toward this end, we are utilizing zebrafish, a tiny tropical fish whose blood system shares many similarities to humans. A combination of photo-inducible lineage tracing, time-lapse imaging, and devising genetic strategies will be employed to investigate: (1) The formation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and HSC-niche interaction; (2) The fate determination and function of tissue-resident macrophages and dendritic cells; (3) The roles of immune cells in aging and tissue regeneration; (4) The roles of immune cells in the formation and metastasis of melanoma. The ultimately goal is to uncover cellular and molecular principles that organize the formation, maintenance, and function of these cells under physiological and pathological states.

Time-lapse imaging of HSC budding from vessel
Time-lapse imaging of Langerhans Cells in L-15 culture meida
Time-lapse imaging of microglia colonization into the brain
Time-lapse imaging of melanocytes responsive to wound injury