Prof. Tom Cheung received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006. Before he joined the Division of Life Science at HKUST, he was a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Thomas Rando laboratory at Stanford University School of Medicine. Prof. Tom Cheung is currently a member of the Center for Stem Cell Research, the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, the Center for Systems Biology and Human Health, and an affiliated member of the Division of Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering Graduate Program at HKUST. Prof. Cheung is a recipient of the Croucher Innovation Award in 2015 for the study of “Molecular regulation of stem cell ageing”.
Molecular mechanisms of stem cell quiescence and activation
Adult stem cells have the unique ability to produce differentiated daughter cells as well as replenish the stem pool through the process of self-renewal. In the absence of stimulus, subsets of mammalian adult stem cells can reside in the quiescent state for prolonged periods of time. Importantly, disruption of quiescence was shown to result in the depletion of the stem cell pool. Satellite cells are adult muscle stem cells that are primarily quiescent in resting muscle and that represent an excellent model to study stem cell quiescence. The main areas of interest of the laboratory are to specify the molecular pathways that control stem cell quiescence and stem cell-mediated tissue regeneration. Using both in vitro and in vivo approaches, we are also interested in getting a better understanding of adult stem cell function in the context of tissue regeneration, disease and aging.
- An Y, Wang G, Diao Y, Long Y, Fu X, Weng M, Zhou L, Sun K, Cheung TH, Ip NY, Sun H. A Molecular Switch Regulating Cell Fate Choice between Muscle Progenitor Cells and Brown Adipocytes. Developmental Cell. 2017 May 22;41(4):382-91.
- Mueller AA, van Velthoven CT, Fukumoto KD, Cheung TH and Rando TA. Intronic Polyadenylation of PDGFRa in resident stem cells attenuates muscle fibrosis. Nature. 2016 Nov 28. doi: 10.1038/nature20160.
- Cheung TH, Rando TA. (2013) Molecular regulation of stem cell quiescence. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. 2013 Jun;14(6):329-40. doi: 10.1038/nrm3591.
- Boutet SC*, Cheung TH*, Quach NL*, Liu L, Prescott SL, Edalati A, Iori K, Rando TA. (2012). Alternative polyadenylation mediates microRNA regulation of muscle stem cell function. Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Mar 2;10(3):327-36. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.01.017. (*authors contributed equally to the study)
- Cheung TH, Quach NL, Charville GW, Liu L, Park L, Edalati A, Yoo B, Hoang P, Rando TA. (2012). Maintenance of muscle stem-cell quiescence by microRNA-489. Nature. 2012 Feb 23;482(7386):524-8. doi: 10.1038/nature10834.