Ya-Chieh Hsu, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Institution
Harvard University
Address
7 Divinity Ave
Sherman Fairchild Bldg., Room 358A
City, State, Zip
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone
(617) 496-4202
E-mail
yachiehhsu[at]fas.harvard.edu
Website
http://hscrb.harvard.edu/res-fl-hsu
Research Field
Stem Cell Biology
Award Year
2017

Research

We aim to uncover the function and potential of transit-amplifying cells, a common intermediate progeny for many somatic stem cells. Unlike the quiescent stem cells, transit-amplifying cells are highly proliferative and are therefore more vulnerable to chemotherapy drugs compared with stem cells. Our lab discovered that destroying the transit-amplifying cells within hair follicles causes widespread alterations in the skin, including changes to hair growth, pigmentation, innervation, blood vessel formation, and wound healing. Now, combining techniques in cell and molecular biology, genetics, and microscopy, we will systematically eliminate different proteins that we have discovered are secreted specifically by these transit-amplifying cells and determine how the loss of each affects the integrated processes involved in skin homeostasis. Our findings could lead to strategies for alleviating or preventing side effects of chemotherapy, including hair loss and compromised wound healing.