Guangwen (Gary) Ren, Ph.D.
The Jackson Laboratory
Mesenchymal Stem Cells: from Regeneration to Cancer Biology
Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells which play key roles in wound healing and regeneration. MSCs and their lineages are highly plastic and capable of quickly responding to tissue environmental stresses, such as inflammatory mediators, toxic chemicals and radicals etc, to gain their regulatory functions serving to achieve tissue homeostasis. Such beneficial features of mesenchymal lineage cells, unfortunately, could be hijacked by “tumor wounds” leading to accelerated tumor progression, and therapy-induced resistance and metastatic relapse. Bearing the similarities between tumors and wounds in mind, Dr. Guangwen Ren’s group at the Jackson Laboratory dedicates to understanding how mesenchymal lineage cells exert tumor regulatory functions in response to environmental stresses including inflammation, cancer therapeutics and other physiological and pathological conditions.