Jean Lu

Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, ROC

Title: Functional screens in stem cells reveal key determinants of stem cell fates


Jean Lu was a postdoc at Yale University and start to lunch functional screen in human embryonic stem cells. After she established her laboratory in 2007 at Academia Sinica, she set up and performed the first high throughput shRNA in mouse embryonic stem cells and an unbiased cDNA library screen in mesenchymal stem cells. The finding can help to enhance embryonic stem cell expansion and develop new treatment for bone diseases. Dr. Lu is also the co-PI of the National RNA core which joined the TRC consortium founded by nine institute including Broad Institute, Harvard University, MIT, Sigma, etc.


By systematically functional screens in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), we identified dozen of hits which can regulate cell fates. By loss-of –functional screen in mouse and human ESCs, we revealed 244 and 57 targets essential for ESC renewal. We are currently studied these gene functions in-depth. . To reveal therapeutic targets to increase osteoblast formation to fulfill the unmet need, we established an unbiased cDNA library with 12380 cDNA in the lentivirus expression system. These genes were categorized into eight different groups by cherry picking. Thus a high throughput screen with 12380 genes were performed in primary MSCs to pinpoint factors promote osteoblast formation. At least nine factors in the soluble factor group was revealed to be both essential and sufficient for the osteogenesis of MSCs. These factors may help to ameliorate bone diseases.