The Wang lab is interested in elucidating critical cell-cell interactions that mediate the function of tissue-specific stem cells during regeneration and disease, with a strong focus on how a coordinated immune response can promote repair and how autoimmunity impacts tissue function and repair. Specifically, the lab aims to identify cellular and molecular factors that mimic signals between muscle, nerve, and immune systems to develop and translate targeted therapies that overcome autoimmune neuromuscular disorders and autoimmune aspects of “inflammaging”.
The lab's research is translationally oriented and utilizes interdisciplinary molecular, genetic, computational (machine learning and neural networks), and bioengineering approaches to view biology and disease from new perspectives. We combine multi-omics sequencing and imaging methods to resolve how different cell types work together after injury to repair tissues and restore function, identify targetable disease mechanisms through collaborations with other researchers and clinicians, and develop therapies that promote regeneration.
Dr. Yu Xin (Will) Wang
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
I grew up in the historic capital of Xi'an, China and immigrated to Canada at a young age. I've always had a passion for science and was introduced to stem cell biology and regenerative medicine when I joined the lab of Dr. Michael Rudnicki at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. I was struck by the ability of a small pool of muscle stem cells that can rebuild and restore the function of muscle and I became fascinated with how the body is able to repair and heal. By better understanding the repair process, we can harness our body's ability to heal in order to combat chronic disease and even counteract aging.
I received my PhD from the University of Ottawa, garnering a Governor General’s Gold Medal for my thesis work on molecular mechanisms that regulate the self-renewal decision of muscle stem cells. This work led to novel therapeutic targets and is paving the way for treatments for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that promote regeneration rather than just slowing down the disease.
After graduating, I moved to the Bay Area and underwent postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Helen Blau at Stanford University School of Medicine. I embraced the big data revolution and plunged into the world of machine learning and neural networks. I developed bioinformatics approaches to study epigenetic regulation of cell fate using ATAC-seq and computational pipelines to process highly multiplexed tissue imaging.
These technological advancements will accelerate discovery in my lab. Instead of studying one cell type or one gene at a time, we can now see the entire network of genetic regulation and ecosystem of cells that work together to rebuild a tissue. These insights will revolutionize our abilities to unravel complex diseases that involve multiple cell types or driven by autoimmune disorders.
I strive for Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
I strongly believe that knowledge, science, and technology should be shared by all. Our society is shaped by inventions from across the globe and innovation is driven by inclusivity. The broadened perspective from diverse backgrounds, philosophies, and experiences is critical for discovery. I encourage and promote historically underrepresented people in science through continued outreach, friendship, mentorship, and collaboration.
I completed my PhD in Bioengineering at EPFL/Nestlé. I am working on new computational and multi-omics approaches to understand neuromuscular adaptations following denervation.
Sara Ancel PhD
/resident swiss alps expert