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Shang CAI, Ph.D.
Somatic Stem Cell and Cancer Stem Cell Lab
Shang CAI, Ph.D.
Somatic Stem Cell and Cancer Stem Cell Lab
"As far as science is concerned, it's easier to see, to a limited extent, the parts than the whole. I am confident that the prestigious Westlake shall foster dedication, humbleness and diligence in me, who shall strive to see an ever bigger picture in the pursuit to better understand life and disease."
Dr. Shang Cai is currently the assistant professor in Westlake Institute of Advanced Studies. He received his bachelor degree of biological science in Peking University in 2003. He then went abroad to the Biochemistry Department of Indiana University for his PhD studies, working on the molecular mechanism of spindle assembly and chromosome alignment. After getting his PhD degree in 2009, he pursued his postdoc research in the Institute of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University, working on the mechanism of self-renewal and fate specification of mammary stem cell and breastcancer stem cell. He was promoted to research associate in 2015.
Dr. Shang Cai’s research focused on the role of mammary stem cell in the morphological and functional integrity of the mammary gland during puberty, pregnancy and lactation, as well as the role of breast cancer stem cells in cancer initiation, evolution, drug resistance, relapse and metastasis. Through single cell gene expression analysis, he has successfully isolated a subset of mammary stem cells in quiescence, which can long-term self-renewal and regenerate mammary gland. He further identified a key transcription factor Bcl11b, which determines the quiescent state, and elucidated the molecular mechanism. In addition, his research revealed that a subset of stromal cells, positive for Gli2 expression, is responsible for the niche specification and mammary stem cell maintenance. Abnormalities in the Gli2 positive niche can cause mammary phenotypes associated with human disease of combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD). This study provides insights in the treatment of the mammary underdevelopment for the CPHD patients.
Recent years, stem cell researches have gained much attention due to its potential for cellular therapy, organ repair and regeneration, but also are facing many bottlenecks for clinical applications. Our lab’s research interests focus on regenerative ability of stem cells, lineage specification and abnormalities of stem cells in various diseases. In the next five years, we are particularly interested in the following directions:
1. Lineage hierarchy of mammary cells and their dynamic changes during various developmental stages
2. The aberrant behaviors of stem cells in aging, hyperplasia and other diseases
3. The mechanism of drug resistance and metastasis of cancer stemcells.
*These authors contribute equally
1. Chen Zhao*, Shang Cai*, Kunyoo Shin, Agnes Lim, Tomer Kalisky, Michael F. Clarke, Philip A. Beachy Stromal gli2 activity coordinates a niche signaling program for mammary epithelial stem cells. Science (2017) *cofirst author
2. Shang Cai, Tomer Kalisky, Debashis Sahoo, Piero Dalerba, Shaheen S. Sikandar, Neethan A. Lobo, Maider Zabala, Weiguo Feng, Yuan Lin, Angela Kong, Jeffrey Yu, Flora Wang, Elizabeth Y. Chen, Ferenc A. Scheeren, Angera H. Kuo, Shigeo Hisamori, Linda Jacqueline van Weele, Diane Heiser, Sopheak Sim, Jessica Lam, Dalong Qian, Stephen Quake and Michael F. Clarke A quiescent Bcl11b high stem cell population is required for maintenance of the mammary gland. (Volume 20, Issue 2, p247–260.e5, Cell Stem Cell (2016)
3. Scheeren FA, Kuo AH, van Weele LJ, Cai S, Glykofridis I, Sikandar SS, Zabala M, Qian D, Lam JS, Johnston D, Volkmer JP, Sahoo D, van de Rijn M, Dirbas FM, Somlo G, Kalisky T, Rothenberg ME, Quake SR, Clarke MF A cell-intrinsic role for TLR2-MYD88 in intestinal and breast epithelia and oncogenesis. Nat. Cell Biol. (2014) 16, 1238-48
4. Isobe T, Hisamori S, Hogan DJ, Zabala M, Hendrickson DG, Dalerba P, Cai S, Scheeren F, Kuo AH, Sikandar SS, Lam JS, Qian D, Dirbas FM, Somlo G, Lao K, Brown PO, Clarke MF, Shimono Y miR-142 regulates the tumorigenicity of human breast cancer stem cells through the canonical WNT signaling pathway. Elife (2014) 3
5. Feng W, Gentles A, Nair RV, Huang M, Lin Y, Lee CY, Cai S, Scheeren FA, Kuo AH, Diehn M Targeting unique metabolic properties of breast tumor initiating cells. Stem Cells (2014)
6. Stephanie C. Ems-McClung, Sarah G. Hainline, Jenna Devare, Hailing Zong, Shang Cai, Stephanie K. Lamb, Sid L. Shaw, Claire E. Walczak. Aurora B inhibits MCAK activity through a phospho-conformational switch that regulates MT association. Curr. Biol. (2013) 23, 2491-9
7. Cai S, Weaver LN, Ems-McClung SC, Walczak CE. Proper Organization of microtubule minus ends is needed for the midzone stability and cytokinesis. Curr Biol. 2010 May 11;20(9):880-5.
8. Cai, S., O’Connell, C. B., Khodjakov, A. and Walczak, C.E. Chromosome congression in the absence of kinetochore fibres. Nat. Cell Biol 2009 Jul; 11(7):832-8.
9. Walczak CE, Cai S, Khodjakov A. Mechanisms of chromosome behaviour during mitosis. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Feb;11(2):91-102.
10. Cai. S., Weaver, L.N., Ems-McClung, S.C. and Walczak, C.E. Kinesin-14 family proteins HSET/XCTK2 control spindle length by cross-linking and sliding microtubules. Mol. Biol. Cell. 2009 Mar;20(5):1348-59. PMID: 19116309.
11. Cai S, Walczak CE. The road less travelled to the spindle equator. Cell Cycle. 2009 Dec;8(23):3791-3.
12. Cai, S., and Walczak, C.E. (2008) Kinetochore attachment: how the Hec can a cell do it? Curr. Biol. 18(23):1093-1096.
13. Ma, Y., Cai, S., Lv, Q., Lv, X., Jiang, Q., Zhou, J. and Zhang, C. Inhibition of protein deacetylation by trichostatin A impairs microtubule-kinetochore attachment. Cell Mol. Life Sci. 2008; 65(19): 3100-3109.
14. Ma, Y., Cai, S., Lv, Q., Jiang, Q., Zhang, Q, Sodmergen, Zhai, Z. and Zhang, C. Lamin B receptor plays a role in stimulating nuclear envelope production and targeting membrane vesicles to chromatin during nuclear envelope assembly through direct interaction with importin beta. J. Cell Sci. 2007; 120(3):520-530.
15. Chen, Z., Cai, S., Jiang, Q., Zhang, C. & Tang, X. Roles for microtubule and microfilament cytoskeletons in animal cell cytokinesis. Chinese Science Bulletin, 2005; 50(3):229-235.
Our lab is currently recruiting multiple levels of researchers from all over the world. If you are interested, send your CV to: email@example.com