Yu Xin (Will) Wang, Ph.D.

Yu Xin (Will) Wang's Research Focus

Aging-Related Diseases, Arthritis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Cachexia, Muscular Dystrophy, Myopathy, Sarcopenia/Aging-Related Muscle Atrophy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Neurodegenerative and Neuromuscular Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammatory/Autoimmune Disease
Adult/Multipotent Stem Cells, Aging, Cell Signaling, Development and Differentiation, Exercise, Epigenetics, Extracellular Matrix, Neurogenesis, Organogenesis, Regenerative Biology, Transcriptional Regulation
Musculoskeletal System, Nervous System, Immune System and Inflammation
Computational Modeling, Clinical and Transitional Research, Human Adult/Somatic Stem Cells, Mouse, Computational Modeling
3D Image Analysis, Bioinformatics, Cellular and Molecular Imaging, Gene Knockout (Complete and Conditional), Genomics, High Content Imaging, High-Throughput/Robotic Screening, Machine Learning, Microscopy and Imaging, Transplantation, Proteomics, Live Cell Imaging

The Wang lab is interested in elucidating critical cell-cell interactions that mediate the function of tissue-specific stem cells during regeneration and disease, with a focus on

  1. how a coordinated immune response can promote regeneration and
  2. how autoimmunity impacts tissue function and hinder repair.

Specifically, the Wang lab aims to identify cellular and molecular crosstalk between muscle, nerve, and immune systems to develop targeted therapies that overcome autoimmune neuromuscular disorders and autoimmune aspects of “inflammaging.”

Yu Xin (Will) Wang's Research Report

The lab's research is translationally oriented and utilizes interdisciplinary molecular, genetic, computational (machine learning and neural networks), and bioengineering approaches to view biology and disease from new perspectives. We combine multi-omics sequencing and imaging methods to resolve how different cell types work together after injury to repair tissues and restore function. We use a data-driven approach to identify targetable disease mechanisms and, through collaborations with other researchers and clinicians, develop therapies that promote regeneration. Visit our lab website to learn more.

Yu Xin (Will) Wang's Bio

Dr. Yu Xin (Will) Wang received his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa where he identified cellular asymmetry and polarity mechanisms regulating muscle stem cell self-renewal and skeletal muscle regeneration. He then carried out postdoctoral training at Stanford University School of Medicine developing single cell multi-omic approaches to characterize the regenerative process and what goes awry with disease and aging.  

"I've always had a passion for science and became fascinated with how the body repairs and heals itself when I was introduced to the potential of stem cells in regenerative medicine. I was struck by the ability of a small pool of muscle stem cells that can rebuild and restore the function of muscle. My lab at Sanford Burnham Prebys aims to better understanding the repair process and harness our body's ability to heal in order to combat chronic diseases and even counteract aging."


Education and Training

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University School of Medicine
Ph.D. in Cellular Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada
B.S. in Biomedical Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada


Prestigious Funding Awards

2020: NINDS K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award


Honors and Recognition

Governor General’s Gold Medal - Canada

scientist with sample


Inhibition of prostaglandin-degrading enzyme 15-PGDH rejuvenates aged muscle mass and strength.

Palla AR, Ravichandran M, Wang YX, Alexandrova L, Yang AV, Kraft P, Holbrook CA, Schürch CM, Ho ATV, Blau HM

Science 2021 Jan 29 ;371(6528)

EGFR-Aurka Signaling Rescues Polarity and Regeneration Defects in Dystrophin-Deficient Muscle Stem Cells by Increasing Asymmetric Divisions.

Wang YX, Feige P, Brun CE, Hekmatnejad B, Dumont NA, Renaud JM, Faulkes S, Guindon DE, Rudnicki MA

Cell Stem Cell 2019 Mar 7 ;24(3):419-432.e6

Dystrophin expression in muscle stem cells regulates their polarity and asymmetric division.

Dumont NA, Wang YX, von Maltzahn J, Pasut A, Bentzinger CF, Brun CE, Rudnicki MA

Nat Med 2015 Dec ;21(12):1455-63

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Regeneration of neuromuscular synapses after acute and chronic denervation by inhibiting the gerozyme 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase.

Bakooshli MA, Wang YX, Monti E, Su S, Kraft P, Nalbandian M, Alexandrova L, Wheeler JR, Vogel H, Blau HM

Sci Transl Med 2023 Oct 11 ;15(717):eadg1485

Hardwiring tissue-specific AAV transduction in mice through engineered receptor expression.

Zengel J, Wang YX, Seo JW, Ning K, Hamilton JN, Wu B, Raie M, Holbrook C, Su S, Clements DR, Pillay S, Puschnik AS, Winslow MM, Idoyaga J, Nagamine CM, Sun Y, Mahajan VB, Ferrara KW, Blau HM, Carette JE

Nat Methods 2023 Jul ;20(7):1070-1081

Spatial compartmentalization of signaling imparts source-specific functions on secreted factors.

Groppa E, Martini P, Derakhshan N, Theret M, Ritso M, Tung LW, Wang YX, Soliman H, Hamer MS, Stankiewicz L, Eisner C, Erwan LN, Chang C, Yi L, Yuan JH, Kong S, Weng C, Adams J, Chang L, Peng A, Blau HM, Romualdi C, Rossi FMV

Cell Rep 2023 Feb 28 ;42(2):112051

Machine learning-based classification of dual fluorescence signals reveals muscle stem cell fate transitions in response to regenerative niche factors.

Togninalli M, Ho ATV, Madl CM, Holbrook CA, Wang YX, Magnusson KEG, Kirillova A, Chang A, Blau HM

NPJ Regen Med 2023 Jan 14 ;8(1):4

Primary cilia on muscle stem cells are critical to maintain regenerative capacity and are lost during aging.

Palla AR, Hilgendorf KI, Yang AV, Kerr JP, Hinken AC, Demeter J, Kraft P, Mooney NA, Yucel N, Burns DM, Wang YX, Jackson PK, Blau HM

Nat Commun 2022 Mar 17 ;13(1):1439

Reversing aging for heart repair.

Wang YX, Blau HM

Science 2021 Sep 24 ;373(6562):1439-1440

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