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Department of Biomedical Engineering


Regulation of Gene Expression in Stem Cells
The Cai lab aims to understand the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression in stem cells during normal development and tumorigenesis. Stem cells have the potential to develop into many different cell types for regenerative medicine, but they are also the source of at least some, perhaps, all cancers. The normal and cancerous behavior of stem cells may be determined by their unique pattern of gene expression. We are using integrative computational and experimental approaches to identify, verify and characterize the genetic regulatory elements, e.g., the conserved non-coding DNA sequences and their interacting protein factors, that involved in the gene regulation in stem cells. A thorough understanding of these mechanisms will provide the knowledge of stem cell development into various normal cell types as a repair system for the body, as well as a basis for the therapeutic treatments of cancers.


•    Ph.D., Rutgers University & UMDNJ-RWJ Medical School, 1997
•    Research Associate, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School, 2000-2005
•    Postdoctoral Training, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1997-2000