Title: Faculty & research interests





Lei  Ding
Lei Ding, PhD
Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation & Regenerative Medicine
Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

Full Member

Department: Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine
Microbiology and Immunology
Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

P&S 7513

Disease Models: Hematological Diseases, Transplantation

Stem Cell Categories: Adult stem cells, Cancer stem cells

Model Organisms: Rodent

Themes: Blood, Stem Cell Biology

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) play critical roles in the generation, repair and homeostasis of the blood and immune system via self-renewal and multilineage differentiation. They are maintained throughout life through self-renewing divisions where HSCs divide to produces HSC daughter cells. How self-renewal is regulated is a central question in stem cell biology. HSC self-renewal is regulated by both HSC intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms. In vivo, HSCs reside in a complex microenvironment and are critically regulated by factors secreted by cells that comprise a specialized niche. The HSC niche represents a critical component responsible for the extrinsic regulation of HSC self-renewal. Alterations to the microenvironment can contribute to the development of leukemia, bone marrow failure syndromes and anemia. We are investigating mechanisms, especially extrinsic mechanisms that regulate HSC self-renewal, and how mis-regulation of niche/HSC interactions contributes to diseases such as cancer and anemia. Understanding the HSC niche is a key to help us design better strategies for in vitro expansion of HSCs for clinical use and to treat niche related diseases such as leukemia and anemia.


Ding, L., and Morrison, S
Haematopoietic stem cells and early lymphoid progenitors occupy distinct bone marrow niches. Nature. 495:231-5. (2013)

Ding, L., Saunders, T., Enikolopov, G., and Morrison, S.
Endothelial and perivascular cells maintain haematopoietic stem cells. Nature 481:457-62. (2012)

Ding, L. and Han, M.
GW182 family proteins are critical for miRNA-mediated gene silencing. Trends in Cell Biology. 17:411-6. (2007)

Zhang, L. *, Ding, L.*, Cheung, T., Dong, M., Chen, J., Sewell, A., Liu, X., Yates, J. and Han, M. (*, equal contribution)
Systematic identification of miRISC proteins, miRNAs, and their mRNA targets in C. elegans by their interactions with GW182 family proteins AIN-1 and AIN-2. Molecular Cell. 28, :598-613. (2007)

Ding, L., Spencer, A., Morita, K. and Han, M.
The developmental timing regulator AIN-1 interacts with argonaute protein ALG-1, miRISCs and may target ALG-1 to cytoplasmic P bodies in C. elegans. Molecular Cell. 19:437-447. (2005)

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