Yu-Chieh Wang, PhD


Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Education & experience:

I received my bachelor’s degree in biology from National Taiwan Normal University (Taipei, Taiwan) and my doctoral degree in medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy from the Ohio State University (OSU; Columbus, OH). My research at OSU was focused on experimental therapeutics for human cancer and the regulation of kinase signaling using novel small molecules. Prior to joining UNTHSC, I was a Senior Research Associate at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI; La Jolla, CA) and led several studies at the interface between cancer and stem cell biology to understand the molecular regulation of cellular pluripotency. In addition, I was involved in the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Bridges to Stem Cell Research Program as a mentor for graduate and undergraduate students.

Teaching areas & interests in pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences:

I am experienced in graduate and postdoctoral education in molecular biology, regenerative medicine, and their applications in the development of novel therapy. I am involved in teaching the Pharm.D. program. For research mentoring, I have successfully trained several undergraduate and graduate students and interacted with numerous postdoctoral fellows.

Professional activities & awards:

I am a member of several professional societies that includes the American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Chemical Society, Society for Glycobiology, and International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). Also, I have served as an advisory board member of the GTC Stem Cell Summits and been invited as a speaker in the panel discussion on Selecting a Mentor sponsored by Elsevier B.V., the ISSCR annual meeting, the GTC Stem Cell Summit, and special seminars for several academic institutions. The awards and honors that I have received include: TSRI Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Travel Award, ISSCR Travel Grant, Marie Mayer Fellowship (Marie & Jimmy Mayer Award for Melanoma Research), NIH National Graduate Student Research Festival Travel Grant, and Award for Outstanding Student Research (twice, Department of Biology, National Taiwan Normal University).

Scholarly Interests:

My primary research interest is translational medicine aiming to understand the molecular basis for cellular pluripotency and malignancy, and to develop better therapeutic strategies for managing human diseases. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) which possess cellular pluripotency are a group of remarkable cells that provide a great promise of success in regenerative medicine and the development of novel therapy. Our group has conducted several exciting research programs sought to address critical issues in stem cell biology and translational medicine. These research programs have led to significant reports regarding the discovery and utility of glycomic signatures and pluripotency-associated lectins for identifying hPSCs (highlight article, Cell Research), a transcriptomic analysis of circulating melanoma cells using a mRNA sequencing platform with single-cell resolution (Nature Biotechnology), an assessment of aneuploidies in human embryonic stem cells (PLoS One), a genome-wide analysis of epigenetic variations in human pluripotent stem cells and their differentiated derivatives (Cell Stem Cell), the discovery of novel regulatory interactions critical for islet cell development by characterizing miRNA and mRNA signatures in the differentiated derivatives of hPSCs (Journal of Cell Science), and the efficient derivation of genetically-stable, functional melanocytes differentiated from transgene-free human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) as a potential platform to study human melanocyte-associated disease (Journal of Investigative Dermatology). With this foundation, we are actively working on using hiPSC-based platform to recapitulate oncogenic processes for studying dysregulation and heterogeneity of cell signaling involved in melanoma formation. In addition, we are highly interested in understanding how protein glycosylation contributes to the mechanisms of pluripotency regulation and pathogenesis

This page was last modified on February 15, 2018