Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Zhongshan University (2004)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Illinois Chicago (2010)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Direct conversion of human fibroblasts into retinal pigment epithelium-like cells by defined factors PROTEIN & CELL Zhang, K., Liu, G., Yi, F., Montserrat, N., Hishida, T., Esteban, C. R., Izpisua Belmonte, J. C. 2014; 5 (1): 48-58


    The generation of functional retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is of great therapeutic interest to the field of regenerative medicine and may provide possible cures for retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Although RPE cells can be produced from either embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, direct cell reprogramming driven by lineage-determining transcription factors provides an immediate route to their generation. By monitoring a human RPE specific Best1::GFP reporter, we report the conversion of human fibroblasts into RPE lineage using defined sets of transcription factors. We found that Best1::GFP positive cells formed colonies and exhibited morphological and molecular features of early stage RPE cells. Moreover, they were able to obtain pigmentation upon activation of Retinoic acid (RA) and Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling pathways. Our study not only established an ideal platform to investigate the transcriptional network regulating the RPE cell fate determination, but also provided an alternative strategy to generate functional RPE cells that complement the use of pluripotent stem cells for disease modeling, drug screening, and cell therapy of retinal degeneration.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13238-013-0011-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000332461300007

    View details for PubMedID 24474194

  • Progress and prospects in stem cell therapy ACTA PHARMACOLOGICA SINICA Xu, X., Yi, F., Pan, H., Duan, S., Ding, Z., Yuan, G., Qu, J., Zhang, H., Liu, G. 2013; 34 (6): 741-746


    In the past few years, progress being made in stem cell studies has incontestably led to the hope of developing cell replacement based therapy for diseases deficient in effective treatment by conventional ways. The induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are of great interest of cell therapy research because of their unrestricted self-renewal and differentiation potentials. Proof of principle studies have successfully demonstrated that iPSCs technology would substantially benefit clinical studies in various areas, including neurological disorders, hematologic diseases, cardiac diseases, liver diseases and etc. On top of this, latest advances of gene editing technologies have vigorously endorsed the possibility of obtaining disease-free autologous cells from patient specific iPSCs. Here in this review, we summarize current progress of stem cell therapy research with special enthusiasm in iPSCs studies. In addition, we compare current gene editing technologies and discuss their potential implications in clinic application in the future.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/aps.2013.77

    View details for Web of Science ID 000319915000005

    View details for PubMedID 23736002

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