BBS Faculty Member - Ya-Chieh Hsu

Ya-Chieh Hsu

Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology

Harvard University
Sherman Fairchild 358A
7 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-496-4202
Fax: 617-496-3763
Visit my lab page here.

Skin, the largest organ we have, protects us from insults and dehydration, and facilitates sensory perception and thermoregulation. These multifaceted functions are accomplished by a rich diversity of cell types within the skin.

Throughout life, the epidermis and its appendages the hair follicles possess remarkable capacity to renew themselves during homeostasis and to heal themselves upon injury, features that necessitate multiple resident reservoirs of stem cells. Together, the skin represents an ideal paradigm for studying stem cells and their interactions with surrounding microenvironments, or niches.

We use a wide variety of approaches and techniques, including molecular, cellular, genetic and genomic tools, to investigate how stem cell behaviors are regulated by their downstream progeny, their niches, and at systemic level. Currently, our research interests are focused on the following area:

Feedback Regulation from Stem Cell Progeny:
We are among the pioneers to identify stem cell progeny as important regulators of their stem cell parents. Currently, we are elucidating specific signalling molecules governing these feedback regulations.

Niche – Stem Cell Crosstalk:
We are exploring novel niche components that regulate different populations of skin stem cells. Our ultimate goal is to apply the knowledge we learned form our studies to reconstitute a fully functional skin for tissue replacement, which remains as a great challenge for treating burn patients.

Alternation of Niches in Diseases:
Diseases such as chronic wounds and skin cancer often involve alteration of niches. We aim to understand how changes in niche signalling contribute to the progression of these diseases. We aim to understand how these regulations occur in a precise manner to meet various physiological demands, how communications between stem cells and their niches facilitate an organ to adapt, and how dysregulated stem cell behaviors lead to diseases.

Last Update: 9/20/2018


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Ya-Chieh Hsu, Lishi Li, and Elaine Fuchs (2014) Emerging interactions between Skin Stem Cells and Their Niches. Nature Medicine 20:847-856

Ya-Chieh Hsu, Lishi Li, and Elaine Fuchs (2014) Transit-Amplifying Cells Orchestrate Stem Cell Activity and Tissue Regeneration. Cell 157: 935-949

Ya-Chieh Hsu and Elaine Fuchs (2012) A Family Business: Stem Cell Progeny Join the Niche to Regulate Homeostasis. Nature Review Molecular Cell Biology 13:103-114.

Ya-Chieh Hsu, H. Amalia Pasolli and Elaine Fuchs (2011) Dynamics between Stem Cells, Niche and Progeny in the Hair Follicle. Cell 144: 92-105.

Janghoo Lim, Hamed Jafar-Nejad,
Ya-Chieh Hsu, and Kwang-Wook Choi (2008) Novel Function of the Class I bHLH Protein Daughterless in the Negative Regulation of Proneural Gene Expression in the Drosophila Eye. EMBO Rep 9: 1128-1133

Kwang-Wook Choi and
Ya-Chieh Hsu (2007) To Cease or To Proliferate: New Insights into TCTP Function from a Drosophila Study. Cell Adhesion and Migration 3: 129-130

Janghoo Lim, Ok-Kyung Lee,
Ya-Chieh Hsu, Amit Singh, and Kwang-Wook Choi (2007) Drosophila TRAP230/240 are Essential Coactivators for Atonal in Retinal Neurogenesis. Developmental Biology 308:322-330

Ya-Chieh Hsu, Joshua J. Chern, Yi Cai, Mingyao Liu and Kwang-Wook Choi (2007) Drosophila TCTP is Essential for Growth and Proliferation through Regulation of dRheb GTPase. Nature 445: 785-788

Rongmin Zhao, Mike Davey,
Ya-Chieh Hsu, Pia Kaplanek, Amy Tong, Ainslie B. Parsons, Nevan Krogan, Gerard Cagney, Duy Mai, Jack Greenblatt, Charles Boone, Andrew Emili and Walid A. Houry (2005) Navigating the Chaperone Network: An Integrative Map of Physical and Genetic Interactions Mediated by the Hsp90 Chaperone. Cell 120: 715-727

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