Cheng-Yu Lee Lab

We study the mechanisms of neural stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, which have implications for neurological disorders and cancer.

Our Research

Stem cells are progenitors that maintain stemness (self-renewal) while generating diverse differentiated cell types. Thus, a stem cell's decision to self-renew or to differentiate has profound consequences in development, homeostasis and regeneration.

Recently, the role of cancer stem cells in several types of malignancies has been demonstrated; many parallels exist between normal and cancer stem cells — specifically, their ability to self-renew extensively and to generate a wide variety of differentiated cell types. Thus, elucidation of the molecular mechanisms leading to self-renewal or to differentiation is beneficial for both stem cell and cancer biology.

We use Drosophila neural stem cells as a model to study regulation of self-renewal versus differentiation.

Cheng-Yu Lee, Ph.D.

Robert H. Bartlett Collegiate Professor of the Life Sciences
Research Associate Professor, U-M Life Sciences Institute
Associate Professor, Internal Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology, U-M Medical School

Publication Highlights

Low-level repressive histone marks fine-tune gene transcription in neural stem cells

Rajan A, Anhezini L, Rives-Quinto N, Chhabra JY, Neville MC, Larson ED, Goodwin SF, Harrison MM, Lee C-Y, eLife (2023)

Cell-type-specific chromatin occupancy by the pioneer factor Zelda drives key developmental transitions in Drosophila

Larson ED, Komori H, Gibson TJ, Ostgaard CM, Hamm DC, Schnell JM, Lee C-Y, Harrison MM, Nature Communications (2021)

The molecular landscape of neural differentiation in the developing Drosophila brain revealed by targeted scRNA-seq and multi-informatic analysis

Michki NS, Li Y, Sanjasaz K, Zhao Y, Shen FY, Walker LA, Cao W, Lee CY, Cai D, Cell Reports (2021)

Sequential activation of transcriptional repressors promotes progenitor commitment by silencing stem cell identity genes

Rives-Quinto N, Komori H, Ostgaard CM, Janssens DH, Kondo S, Dai Q, Moore AW, Lee C-Y, eLife (2020)

An Hdac1/Rpd3-Poised Circuit Balances Continual Self-Renewal and Rapid Restriction of Developmental Potential during Asymmetric

Janssens DH, Hamm DC, Anhezini L, Xiao Q, Siller KH, Siegrist SE, Harrison MM, Lee CY, Developmental Cell (2017)

Earmuff restricts progenitor cell potential by attenuating the competence to respond to self-renewal factors

Janssens DH, Komori H, Grbac D, Chen K, Koe CT, Wang H, Lee CY, Development (2014)

Lee Lab

Room 5183
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216