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Wei Hsu, PhD

Senior Member of Staff

Professor of Developmental Biology, Harvard University
Affiliate Faculty of Harvard Stem Cell Institute

Dr. Hsu has been recognized as a world-renowned leader in craniofacial biology. He is also a pioneer in Wnt signaling with the seminal study of Axin and Gpr177/mouse Wntless. His lab is interested in the mechanisms that support embryonic morphogenesis, tissue homeostasis, disease pathogenesis, and organ repair and regeneration. Focusing initially on Wnt as one of the most prevalent signaling pathways in developmental biology, his research team is establishing how Wnt signaling and its crosstalk with other pathways control pluripotency and differentiation in stem cells and homeostasis in mature cells. More recently, his lab also has focused on epigenetics, post-translational modification, ciliopathy, and laminopathy, causally linked to human diseases. The objective is to use the basic knowledge to develop innovative strategies for disease prevention and therapy.

Dr. Hsu received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from National Kidney Foundation to study Mammalian Genetics and Developmental Biology at Columbia University. Dr. Hsu had been a Professor of Biomedical Genetics at the University of Rochester Medical Center since 2002. He was also a course director of Advanced Genetics, served as co-Director of an NIDCR T90/R90 training grant, and hold Dean’s Professorship before joining Forsyth in 2021.

A tremendous effort has been devoted by Dr. Hsu to serve on international committees and review panels (e.g., NIH, DOD, Medical Research Council of UK, Japanese Society for Promotion of Science, A*STAR of Singapore, Dutch Cancer Society), and as the editor (e.g., PLOS Genetics, Journal of Dental Research) and reviewer (e.g., Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Nature Communications, PNAS, EMBO, Cancer Research, Cell Death & Differentiation). The leadership that Dr. Hsu provides to the field of Developmental and Stem Cell Sciences is further solidified by more than 70 invited lectureships at research conferences and leading biomedical institutions worldwide. He is dedicated to advocating research and serving the academic community.

Dr. Hsu maintains an active teaching role throughout his career. In addition to being a lecturer and course director, a critical aspect of his teaching is being an active mentor. Dr. Hsu has supervised a vast number of students and postdocs with many of them holding principal investigator positions in academic and research-oriented institutions. He is particularly passionate about undergraduate education and has an extensive track record of training future scientists. Most of them went on to medical, dental, and graduate schools. His recent research mainly focuses on craniofacial and skeletal development, congenital birth defects, and the study of skeletal stem cells and stem cell-mediated regeneration. The outcome of his research has always been impactful and published in prestigious journals. His vibrant research program has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, NYSTEM/New York State Stem Cell Science, March of Dimes. Dr. Hsu provides leadership for the Craniofacial and Dental Research Center at The Forsyth Institute.

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