The focus of the Chang lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate adult stem cell function during tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Muscle stem cells (also known as satellite cells) are responsible for the remarkable regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle and serve as an excellent model system for studying stem cell biology. We use biochemistry, molecular and cell biology approaches to determine how muscle stem cell quiescence, activation, self-renewal and differentiation processes are distinctly regulated. Dysregulation of these pathways that control muscle stem cell function are contributing causes of muscle degeneration, aging and disease. Our lab employs disease models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and rhabdomyosarcoma to investigate how impaired stem cell function leads to degenerative disease and cancer. Ultimately, these findings will allow us to gain insight into human disease mechanisms and design novel regenerative medicine strategies.
We are grateful to the following agencies for their support: