Ya-Chieh Hsu

Ya-Chieh Hsu

Professor of Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology
Ya-Chieh Hsu
Skin, the largest organ we have, protects us from insults and dehydration, and facilitates sensory perception and thermoregulation. These multifaceted functions are accomplished by a rich diversity of cell types within the skin.
Throughout life, the epidermis and its appendages the hair follicles possess remarkable capacity to renew themselves during homeostasis and to heal themselves upon injury, features that necessitate multiple resident reservoirs of stem cells. Together, the skin represents an ideal paradigm for studying stem cells and their interactions with surrounding microenvironments, or niches.
We use a wide variety of approaches and techniques, including molecular, cellular, genetic and genomic tools, to investigate how stem cell behaviors are regulated by their downstream progeny, their niches, and at systemic level. Currently, our research interests are focused on the following area:
Feedback Regulation from Stem Cell Progeny:
We are among the pioneers to identify stem cell progeny as important regulators of their stem cell parents. Currently, we are elucidating specific signaling molecules governing these feedback regulations.
Niche – Stem Cell Crosstalk:
We are exploring novel niche components that regulate different populations of skin stem cells. Our ultimate goal is to apply the knowledge we learned from our studies to reconstitute a fully functional skin for tissue replacement, which remains as a great challenge for treating burn patients.
Alternation of Niches in Diseases:
Diseases such as chronic wounds and skin cancer often involve alteration of niches. We aim to understand how changes in niche signaling contribute to the progression of these diseases. We aim to understand how these regulations occur in a precise manner to meet various physiological demands, how communications between stem cells and their niches facilitate an organ to adapt, and how dysregulated stem cell behaviors lead to diseases.

Contact Information

Harvard University
Sherman Fairchild 358A
7 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-496-4202

Community or Program Affiliation