Wen-Shu Wu, PhD

Academic Office:
909 S Wolcott, 
Suite 5111, COMRB, MC 734
Chicago, IL 60612

Phone: (312) 996 2586
Fax: (312) 413-7963




Wen-Shu Wu, PhD

Associate Professor of Medicine


Special Interests

Hematology, Cancer Biology; Stem Cell Biology of Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, and Induced pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cells; Genome editing. 


Dr. Wu received his doctoral degree in Cancer Biology from University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and completed his postdoctoral training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Wu held faculty positions at several research institutes. He was an Instructor at Harvard Medical School, a Principal Investigator at Main Medical Center Research Institute and an Assistant Professor of the Program in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Before joining UIC, Dr. Wu was an Associate Scientist at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) and a Principal Investigator at the University of California Berkeley Stem Cell Center.

Research Interests

Dr. Wu’s laboratory has been working on the biology of hematopoietic stem cells and iPS cells, and their potential applications in regenerative medicine for curing blood diseases. His work delineates how Slug fine-tunes the p53-Puma DNA damage pathway in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. His group, together with the other two research teams, designed the first 4-in-1 reprogramming vector for generating iPS cells. Recently, his laboratory showed that a cocktail of the three small molecules selectively promote generation of fully reprogrammed iPS cells. Dr. Wu’s laboratory are interested in the broad area of stem cell biology. In particular, Dr. Wu investigates ways to enhance stem cell regeneration following stem cell transplantation, and is working to develop novel stem cell therapy approaches for curing blood cell diseases by combining somatic cell reprogramming and genome editing (CRISPER/Cas9/ RNA-guided and TALEN-mediated approaches). Dr. Wu’s laboratory has a variety of specific research projects in the area of stem cell biology, including: 1) Regulation of proliferation, differentiation, and lineage commitment of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and muscle stem cells under homeostatic and stress conditions, and during aging; 2) Novel strategies to ameliorate the side effects of cancer therapy on hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in vivo; 3) Role of Snail/Slug families in regulation of the self-renewal of mammary gland and prostate stem cells and cancer stem cells; 4) Development of new tools for use in the application of stem cell therapies for some of the most debilitating conditions, such as cancer, sickle cell disease or thalassemia.

Selected Publications

  1. Wen-Shu Wu, Sadeq Vallian, Edward Seto, Wen-Ming Yang, Diane Edmondson, Sharon Roth, and Kun-Sang Chang. The Growth Suppressor PML Represses Transcription by Functionally and Physically Interacting with Histone Deacetyases. Molecular and Cellular Biology, Vol. 21, 2259-2268, 2001

  2. Akira Inoue, Markus G. Seidel, WenShu Wu, Shintaro Kamizono, Adolfo A. Ferrando, Roderick T. Bronson, Hiromi Iwasaki, Koichi Akashi, Akira Morimoto, Johann K. Hitzler, Tamara I. Pestina, Carl W. Jackson, Ryuhei Tanaka, Miriam J. Chong, Peter J. McKinnon, Takeshi Inukai, Gerard C. Grosveld, and A. Thomas Look. Slug, a highly Conserved Zinc Finger Transcriptional Repressor, Protects Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells from Radiation-induced Apoptosis in vivo. Cancer Cell, Vol. 2, 279-288, 2002

  3. Wen-Shu Wu, Zhi-Xiang Xu, and Kun-Sang Chang. The Promyelocytic Leukemia Protein Represses A20 mediated Transcription. J. Biol. Chem., Vol. 27, 31734-31739, 2002

  4. Wen-Shu Wu, Zi-Xiang Xu, Rai-qong Ran, Feng Meng, Kun-Sang Chang. Promyelocytic Leukemia Protein PML Inhibits Nur77-mediated Transactivation Through Specific Function Interaction. Oncogene, Vol. 21, 3925-3933, 2002

  5. Wen-Shu Wu, Zhi-Xiang Xu, Walter N. Hittelman, Paolo Salomoni, Pier Paolo Pandolfi, and Kun-Sang Chang. Promyelocytic Leukemia Protein Sensitizes Tumor Necrosis Factor a-Induced Apoptosis by Inhibiting the NF-kB Survival Pathway. J Biol. Chem., Vol. 278, 12294-12304, 2003

  6. Takeshi Inukai, Toshiya Inaba, Jinjun Dang, Ryoko Kuribara, Keiya Ozawa, Atsushi Miyajima, WenShu Wu, A. Thomas Look, Yojiro Arinobu, Hiromi Iwasaki, Koichi Akashi, Keiko Kagami, Kumiko Goi, Kanji Sugita, and Shinpei Nakazawa. TEF, an antiapoptotic bZIP transcription factor related to the oncogenic E2A-HLF chimera, inhibits cell growth by down-regulating expression of the common beta chain of cytokine receptors. Blood, Vol. 105, 2005

  7. Wen-Shu Wu, Stefan Heinrichs, Dong Xu, Sean P. Garrison Gerard P. Zambetti, Jerry M. Adams, and A. Thomas Look. Slug Antagonizes p53-Mediated Apoptosis of Hematopoietic Progenitors by Repressing Puma. Cell, Vol. 123, 641–653, November 18, 2005.      The Cover: "Slug Represses Puma to Antagonize Apoptosis" Cell, Nov.18, 2005
    Previews: "Slugging It out: Fine Tuning the p53-PUMA Death Connection" Cell, 123, 545-548, 2005
    Research Highlights: "Slug beats Puma"  Nature, Vol. 438, 398-399, 2005
    Research Highlights: "Taming Puma"  Nature Reviews Cancer, Vol. 6, 1, 2006
    News and Reports: "Slug ging It Out Until the End" Hematologist, Vol. 3, 7, 2006
    News and Commentary: "Clues from worms: a Slug at Puma promotes the survival of blood progenitors"

  8. Liu, T.X., Becker, M.W., Jelinek, J., Wu, W.S., Deng, M., Mikhalkevich, N., Hsu, K., Bloomfield, C.D., Stone, R.M., DeAngelo, D.J., et al. 2007. Chromosome 5q deletion and epigenetic suppression of the gene encoding alpha-catenin (CTNNA1) in myeloid cell transformation. Nat Med 13:78-83.

  9. Lijian Shao, Wei Feng, Yan Sun, Hao Bai, Jun Liu, Caroline Currie, Jaejung Kim, Rafael Gama, Zack Wang, Zhijian Qian, Lucy Liaw, and Wen-Shu Wu*. Generation of iPS Cells Using Defined Factors linked Via the Self-Cleaving 2A sequences in a Single Open Reading Frame. Cell Research, Vol. 19, NO. 3, 296-306, 2009.

  10. Shao L, Wu WS*. Gene-delivery systems for iPS cell generation. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy. 2010, 10 (2):231-242.

  11. Bai H, Gao Y, Arzigian M, Wojchowski D, Wu WS, Wang Zack. (2010). BMP4 regulates vascular progenitor development in human embryonic stem cells through a Smad-dependent pathway. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 109(2), 363-74. (PMC Journal - in process)

  12. Yan Sun, Lijian Shao, Hao Bai, Zack Wang, and Wen-Shu Wu*. Slug deficiency enhances self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells during hematopoietic regeneration. Blood, Vol. 115, No. 9, 1709-1717, 2010.

  13. Xu X, Qiao M, Zhang Y, Jing Y, Wei P, Yao J, Gu B, Wang Y, Lu J, Wang Z, Tang Z, Sun Y, Wu Wen-Shu, Shi Q. Quantitative proteomics study of breast cancer cell lines isolated from a single patient: Discovery of TIMM17A as a marker for breast cancer. Proteomics, Vol. 10, No. 7, 1374-1390, 2010.

  14. Lijian Shao, Yan Sun, Zhonghhui Zhang, Wei Feng, Yongxing Gao, Zailong Cai, Zack Z. Wang, A. Thomas, and Wen-Shu Wu*. (2010). Deletion of proapoptotic Puma selectively protects hematopoietic stem  and progenitor cells against high-dose radiation. Blood, 115 (23), 4707-4714.

  15. Jun Liu, Berna Uyger, Zhonghui Zhang, Lijian Shao, Diana Romero, Calvin Vary, Qiang Ding, and Wen-Shu Wu*. Slug Inhibits Proliferation of Human Prostate Cancer Cells via Downregulation of Cyclin D1 Expression. Prostate, 2010, 70(16):1768-77.

  16. Kang Chen, Hao Bai, Melanie Arzigian, Yong-Xing Gao, Jing Bao, Wen-Shu Wu, Wei-Feng Shen, Zack Wang. Endothelial cells regulate cardiomyocyte development from embryonic stem cells. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 2010, 111 (1), 29-39.

  17. Zhonghui Zhang, Yongxing Gao, Albert Gordon, Zack Wang, Zhijian Qian, and Wen-Shu Wu*. Efficient generation of fully reprogrammed human iPS cells via polycistronic retroviral vector and a new cocktail of chemical compounds. PLoS One, 2011, 6(10): e26592.

  18. Berna Uygur and Wen-Shu Wu*. SLUG promotes prostate cancer cell migration and invasion via CXCR4/CXCL12 axis. Molecular Cancer, 2011, 10:139.

  19. Bai H, Chen K, Gao YX, Arzigian M, Xie YL, Malcosky C, Yang YG, Wu WS, Wang ZZ. Bcl-xL enhances single-cell survival and expansion of human embryonic stem cells without affecting self-renewal. Stem Cell Research, 2012, 8(1): 26-37.

  20. Ming Ming, Sheng Wang, Wenshu Wu, Vitalyi Senyuk, Michelle M. Le Beau, Giuseppina Nucifora, and Zhijian Qian. Activation of Wnt/b-Catenin Protein Signaling Induces Mitochondria-mediated Apoptosis in Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012, 287 (27), 22683–22690.

  21. Zhonghui Zhang and Wen-Shu Wu*. Sodium Butyrate Promotes Generation of Human iPS Cells Through Induction of the miR302/367 Cluster. Stem Cells and Development, 2013, 22(16):2268-77.

  22. Zhonghui Zhang, Francisca Heriyanto, and Wen-Shu Wu* Dissecting roles of endogenous microRNA cluster in cellular reprogramming using TALE repressor and TALEN. Stem Cell Reports

    , 2013, 1(3):218-25.