We apply both precision gene editing and large-scale CRISPR screening in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to explore mechanisms underlying human development. Specifically, we are interrogating the protein-coding regulators of pancreatic development and β cell function. The pathways that regulate these processes can be exploited for therapeutics to prevent and reverse diseases such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In a second, closely related area, we are developing approaches to discover developmental enhancers, and to understand the epigenetic regulation of noncoding regulatory elements with a focus on DNA methylation.
Danwei Huangfu, PhD
Research FocusThe Huangfu laboratory uses human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) as a powerful genetic model to interrogate the transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms underlying cell fate decisions in development and disease.
EducationPhD, Cornell University, Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences
- Genome-scale screens identify JNK-JUN signaling as a barrier for pluripotency exit and endoderm differentiation. Li QV, Dixon G, Verma N, Rosen BP, Gordillo M, Luo R, Xu C, Wang Q, Soh CL, Yang D, Crespo M, Shukla A, Xiang Q, Dündar F, Zumbo P, Witkin M, Koche R, Betel D, Chen S, Massagué J, Garippa R, Evans T, Beer MA, Huangfu D. Nat Genet. 2019 Jun;51(6):999-1010.
- TET proteins safeguard bivalent promoters from de novo methylation in human embryonic stem cells. Verma N, Pan H, Doré LC, Shukla A, Li QV, Pelham-Webb B, Teijeiro V, González F, Krivtsov A, Chang CJ, Papapetrou EP, He C, Elemento O, Huangfu D. Nat Genet. 2018 Jan;50(1):83-95.
- Basil O’Connor Scholar, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation (2012-2014)
- Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Young Investigators Award, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2011-2014)
- Award from Harvard Catalyst & InnoCentive for the Ideation Challenge on “What Do We Not Know to Cure Type 1 Diabetes” (2010)
- Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship (2006-2009)