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Our Research

Understanding the intricate interplay between cell proliferation, the cell cycle, and cellular differentiation is critical to unravelling the fundamental biology of multicellular organisms. Our research tackles this fundamental question by utilising the genetics of the multicellular model organism Drosophila melanogaster, together with advanced in vivo imaging, biochemistry, and multi-OMICs techniques. Dysregulation of these processes can disrupt normal embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis and has been implicated in various human diseases, including cancer, fibrosis, and neurodegenerative disorders. Through our work, we aim to uncover the evolutionarily conserved molecular mechanisms that integrate the cell cycle and cellular differentiation in metazoan organisms. Additionally, we employ human cell culture and mammalian organoids to translate our findings in flies to humans, with the ultimate goal of improving human health through our discoveries.

理解细胞增殖、细胞周期和细胞分化之间复杂的相互作用对于揭示多细胞生物的基本生物学至关重要。我们的研究通过利用多细胞模型生物果蝇(Drosophila melanogaster)的遗传学,结合先进的活体成像、生物化学和多组学技术来解决这一基本问题。这些过程的紊乱可能会破坏正常的胚胎发育和成体组织稳态,并与各种人类疾病有关,包括癌症、纤维化和神经退行性疾病。通过我们的工作,我们旨在揭示在后生动物中整合细胞周期和细胞分化的进化保守分子机制。此外,我们还利用人类细胞培养和哺乳动物器官样本来将果蝇中的发现转化为人类,最终目标是通过我们的发现来改善人类健康。

Exploring the Roles of Cell cycle regulators in Cell Fate Decision and Differentiation                        探索细胞周期调节因子在细胞命运决定和分化中的作用

Cell cycle regulators (CCRs) are well-known for their crucial role in controlling cell cycle progression. However, recent research, including our own, has revealed that some of these CCRs also have a direct impact on the cell fate decision and differentiation processes. By delving into these novel metazoan-specific functions of CCRs in various tissues of Drosophila, we aim to uncover their underlying mechanisms and roles. Additionally, we investigate their conserved roles in cultured human cells and tissues, paving the way for groundbreaking discoveries in the field of cell biology.


Cracking the Code of Cellular Quiescence and Cell Cycle Exit  细胞休眠和细胞周期退出机制

In the adult human body, the vast majority of cells exist in either a reversible dormant state (G0 phase) or have irreversibly exited the cell cycle. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate the entry and exit from these cellular quiescent states is crucial to unlocking the secrets of cellular biology. Through our research, we utilise the Drosophila adult brain and gut as in vivo models, as well as in vitro cultures of transformed and untransformed human cells, to gain a deeper understanding of these mechanisms. Additionally, we investigate the genetic and epigenetic changes that may occur in the genome DNA during these transitions and explore their long-term consequences on genome stability and tissue homeostasis. Our findings have the potential to revolutionize the field of cell biology and have implications for a wide range of diseases, from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders.


Investigating Molecular Interactions of Metazoan-Specific Organelles with CCRs      多细胞生物特有细胞器与细胞周期调节因子之间的相互作用

The centrosome and the cilium are critical membrane-less cellular structures found specifically in animal cells. These structures control a wide range of cellular events, including cell migration, cell/tissue polarity, intracellular transport, and signal transduction, by organizing cytoskeletal elements. At our lab, we investigate the molecular crosstalk that occurs between CCRs and components of these organelles. By utilizing Drosophila tissues and human cell culture, we aim to uncover the critical roles of these interactions in cell cycle control, development, and physiology. Our findings have the potential to transform the field of cell biology and have implications for a wide range of diseases, from developmental disorders to cancer.


Latest News

Successful 2023 ShanghaiTech Summer Camp: Shaping the Future of Research in China / 2023年上科大暑期夏令营:塑造中国研究的未来

In mid-July, our school hosted the annual summer camp, a key student recruitment event for our graduate program. This tradition has become an essential platform for connecting our school with prospective graduate students, enabling them to explore our research, faculty, environment, activities, and student life. This year’s summer camp saw around 200 promising candidates in […]

Congratulations to Amanda and June on Their Graduation Success! 祝贺张博士和夏雪的毕业成功!

On May 10th 2023, our laboratory celebrated two outstanding achievements as Amanda and June successfully defended their theses. Amanda (Zhang Qian) has become the first PhD from our lab at ShanghaiTech. She impressed us with her work on the regulation of Dpp signalling by the cell cycle regulator APC/C-SnoN, and on the role of Spd2 […]

Maite and Yuu Presented Research at the CSCB Meeting

We are thrilled to share that our lab members recently attended the China Society of Cell Biology (CSCB) Meeting held in Suzhou from April 11th-14th, 2023.  This was not only a great opportunity for us to share our latest research findings, but also the first event we have been able to attend since the beginning […]

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The Team


We thank ShanghaiTech University, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Shanghai City Science Committee,  Cancer Research UK, BBSRC and the European Commission for their current and previous support for our research.

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