Wei Hsu, Ph.D.

Wei Hsu, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 611
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-7802
Fax: (585) 276-0190
Lab: (585) 275-7851

Lab Information

Current Projects: Craniofacial Morphogenesis; Breast Development and Cancer; Stem Cell Biology; Ubiquitin-like Modifiers in Development and Disease; G protein-coupled receptor in Wnt signaling.

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Research Bio

Genetic Regulatory Circuits in Development and Disease
1. Craniofacial Morphogenesis
The primary objective is to investigate the fundamental mechanisms underlying craniofacial skeletogenesis, including development of cranial neural crest, tooth development, palatogenesis and calvarial morphogenesis. We currently focus on the interplay of Wnt, FGF and BMP pathways essential for expansion, cell fate determination and differentiation of the skeletal precursors. By elucidating these genetic regulatory networks, we hope to advance the knowledge base of skeletal deformities.
2. Breast Development and Cancer

The main focus is to elucidate the mechanisms by which Wnt signaling regulates stem/progenitor cells at different phases of breast development and their involvements in malignant transformation. We are particularly interested in the role of these precursor cells during parity-mediated remodeling of the mammary gland. Our current efforts focus on the role of mammary stem cells in development and cancer.
3. Stem Cell Biology
This is an integral part of our projects studying the genetic control of cellular signals and signal transduction mechanisms underlying development of lineage-specific stem cells/progenitors in skeletal, nervous and reproductive systems.
4. Ubiquitin-like Modifiers
A multi-disciplinary approach is used to study the SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) pathway in mammalian development and disease. We are determining the role of SUMO-specific protease 2 in placental insufficiencies, cardiovascular, skeletal and neurological disorders, and cancers.
5. Wnt Production and Signaling
This project deciphers the regulatory mechanism underlying the making of Wnt and its signaling effects in signal-producing and signal-receiving cells. The main focus is to test our hypothesis that the newly identified Gpr177/mouse Wntless is a master regulator for intracellular trafficking of Wnt. We currently investigate the reciprocal regulation of Wnt and Gpr177 in craniofacial, skeletal, skin, tooth and mammary development, as well as the Gpr177-mediated regulation of Wnt in birth defects and cancers.

Awards & Honors (National)

Idea Award, Breast Cancer Research Program | DOD/USAMRMC 2007
Postdoctoral Fellowship | National Kidney Foundation 1995

Awards & Honors (Local)

Distinguished Alumni Award | Taipei Fuhsing Private School, Taiwan 2012
Research Award | Northeast Regional Development Biology Conference 1997
Traveling & Research Award | Mount Sinai School of Medicine 1993
Traveling & Research Award | Mount Sinai School of Medicine 1992
Predoctoral Fellowship | Mount Sinai School of Medicine 1989 - 1994

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 44 available »

2016 Mar
Zhu XJ, Liu Y, Yuan X, Wang M, Zhao W, Yang X, Zhang X, Hsu W, Qiu M, Zhang Z, Zhang Z. "Ectodermal Wnt controls nasal pit morphogenesis through modulation of the BMP/FGF/JNK signaling axis." Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 2016 Mar; 245(3):414-26. Epub 2016 Jan 08.
2016 Feb 17
Maruyama EO, Lin H, Chiu SY, Yu HM, Porter GA, Hsu W. "Extraembryonic but not embryonic SUMO-specific protease 2 is required for heart development." Scientific reports. 2016 Feb 17; 6:20999. Epub 2016 Feb 17.
2016 Feb 1
Maruyama T, Jeong J, Sheu TJ, Hsu W. "Stem cells of the suture mesenchyme in craniofacial bone development, repair and regeneration." Nature communications. 2016 Feb 1; 7:10526. Epub 2016 Feb 01.
2015 Jun 15
Das S, Yu S, Sakamori R, Vedula P, Feng Q, Flores J, Hoffman A, Fu J, Stypulkowski E, Rodriguez A, Dobrowolski R, Harada A, Hsu W, Bonder EM, Verzi MP, Gao N. "Rab8a vesicles regulate Wnt ligand delivery and Paneth cell maturation at the intestinal stem cell niche." Development. 2015 Jun 15; 142(12):2147-62. Epub 2015 May 26.
2014 Oct 1
Sakamori R, Yu S, Zhang X, Hoffman A, Sun J, Das S, Vedula P, Li G, Fu J, Walker F, Yang CS, Yi Z, Hsu W, Yu DH, Shen L, Rodriguez AJ, Taketo MM, Bonder EM, Verzi MP, Gao N. "CDC42 inhibition suppresses progression of incipient intestinal tumors." Cancer research. 2014 Oct 1; 74(19):5480-92. Epub 2014 Aug 11.

Current Appointments

Dean's Professorship - Department of Biomedical Genetics, Center for Oral Biology (SMD)
Professor - Department of Biomedical Genetics, Center for Oral Biology (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Cancer Center


PhD | Biomedical Sciences | Cuny Mt Sinai Sch of Med1994
M Ph | Biomedical Sciences | CUNY, Mt Sinai Sch of Med1992
BS | Chemistry | Taiwan - Non-Medical School1989

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032 1997
Graduate Fellow Molecular Biology Center, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 1994