Research Overview

Welcome to Nutrigenomics and Growth Biology Laboratory

We explore the epigenetic mechanisms linking nutrients/metabolites to stem (progenitor) cell differentiation and tissue development. Specifically, we are interested in exploring epigenetic mechanisms regulating the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into myocytes and adipocytes.

Our studies have applications to both animal agriculture and human health:

For animal agriculture, we are studying the impact of early nutrition on the growth and development of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, which impacts animal production efficiency and meat quality.

For human health, we are exploring the epigenetic changes in progenitor cells during fetal development as affected by maternal obesity and diabetes.

We use in vitro cell culture, transgenic animals and livestock as experimental models. A wide range of laboratory techniques are used in our studies, including immunoblotting, ELISA, immunohistochemical staining, 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis and proteomic analyses, real-time PCR, DNA manipulation, RNA interference and epigenetic analyses, pyrosequencing and bioinformatics analysis, as well as traditional biochemical and enzyme activity assays.