Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy

CSA Faculty


Pei Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Baylor College of Medicine, 2004


MED 2.054 1/2 V
(210) 567-6796


My lab is focused on the two major diseases of the pancreas: Diabetes - which involves the endocrine tissue and PDAC (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma) - a cancer of the exocrine pancreas that is notorious for its dismal prognosis. We use both human tissue and mouse model to study PDAC tumorigenesis. The immediate goals for our research are:
  • 1) to understand the role of Hippo pathway in the pathogenesis of PDAC,
  • 2) to identify the factors in orchestra with mutant KRAS to transform pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) to PDAC, and
  • 3) to study the pancreatic stromal cells in PDAC.
The long-term goals are to better understand the pathogenesis of PDAC; to identify markers and methods for early diagnosis of PDAC; to inform the development of effective therapeutic strategies; and to translate the scientific findings to clinical trials to help PDAC patient.


Other interests of my lab include the study of signaling pathways involved in beta-cell development and function, and also to generate insulin producing cells (IPCs) from pluripotent stem cells for modeling disease and for cell replacement therapies for diabetes.

Dr. Wang is course director for "Development Biology". Developmental biology is the study on how a single cell develops to an organism. It is one of the most exciting fields in biology, creating a framework that integrates molecular biology, physiology, cell biology, anatomy, cancer research, neurobiology, immunology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. The study of development has become essential for understanding any other area of biology.


Dr. Wang also participates in teaching the basics of stem cells for the graduate school core course INTD5000 regenerative medicine module. She also gives a lecture in the "stem cell and regenerative medicine" course.

Recent Publications:
Sebastiano V, Zhen HH, Derafshi BH, Bashkirova E, Melo SP, Wang P, Leung TL, Siprashvili Z, Tichy A, Li J, Ameen M, Hawkins J, Lee S, Li L, Schwertschkow A, Bauer G, Lisowski L, Kay MA, Kim SK, Lane AT, Wernig M, Oro AE. Human COL7A1-corrected induced pluripotent stem cells for the treatment of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Sci Transl Med. 2014 Nov 26;6(264):264ra163.


Wang P, McKnight KD, Wong DJ, Rodriguez RT, Sugiyama T, Gu X, Ghodasara A, Qu K, Chang HY, Kim SK. A molecular signature for purified definitive endoderm guides differentiation and isolation of endoderm from mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells Dev. 2012 Aug 10;21(12):2273-87.


Hung T, Wang Y, Lin MF, Koegel AK, Kotake Y, Grant GD, Horlings HM, Shah N, Umbricht C, Wang P, Wang Y, Kong B, Langerød A, Børresen-Dale AL, Kim SK, van de Vijver M, Sukumar S, Whitfield ML, Kellis M, Xiong Y, Wong DJ, Chang HY. Extensive and coordinated transcription of noncoding RNAs within cell-cycle promoters. Nat Genet. 2011 Jun 5;43(7):621-9.


Wang R, Tang P, Wang P, Boissy RE, Zheng H. Regulation of tyrosinase trafficking and processing by presenilins: partial loss of function by familial Alzheimer's disease mutation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 10;103(2):353-8.


Sun Y, Wang P, Zheng H, Smith RG. Ghrelin stimulation of growth hormone release and appetite is mediated through the growth hormone secretagogue receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Mar 30;101(13):4679-84.


Representative Publications:
Wang P, Rodriguez RT, Wang J, Ghodasara A, Kim SK. Targeting SOX17 in human embryonic stem cells creates unique strategies for isolating and analyzing developing endoderm. Cell Stem Cell. 2011 Mar 4;8(3):335-46.


McKnight KD, Wang P, Kim SK. Deconstructing pancreas development to reconstruct human islets from pluripotent stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Apr 2;6(4):300-8.


Wang P, Yang G, Mosier DR, Chang P, Zaidi T, Gong YD, Zhao NM, Dominguez B, Lee KF, Gan WB, Zheng H. Defective neuromuscular synapses in mice lacking amyloid precursor protein (APP) and APP-Like protein 2.
J Neurosci. 2005 Feb 2;25(5):1219-25.

Postdoctoral fellows:
    Jun Liu, Ph.D from Creighton University
    Han Wang, Ph.D from Ohio University
    Naoki Akanuma, MD. Ph.D from Chiba University, Japan


Graduate students:
    Kunhua Qin, 2012
    Ming Gao, 2013


MD student:
    Xie Luo, from Xiangya Medical school, China


Research Assistant:
    Jake Leighton, graduated from UT Austin