Lisheng Wang


Lisheng Wang
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology

Work: (613) 562-5800 ext. 5624

picture of LIsheng Wang


Our laboratory conducts its research using cellular and molecular approaches and in vivo animal models. Our areas of interest include nurturing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and pluripotent stem cells in circulatory mother cells, thus generating transplantable cells for potential stem cell-based clinical therapy; defining the immune regulatory components from ESCs that can be used to soothe the recipient’s immune system in accepting transplanted cells; and targeting embryonic signalling pathways in breast cancer stem cells for more effective treatment.

The Wang lab accepts students from graduate programs in Microbiology and Immunology and Biochemistry. 

Research Program

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can theoretically divide without limit and grow into almost any type of cell, raising the attractive prospect of cell replacement therapy to treat or even cure many diseases. Maintenance and direct differentiation of hESCs is challenging. Using rigorous criteria, our laboratory has established and improved the techniques to expand, freeze and thaw, maintain, evaluate and differentiate hESCs. We have defined mother cells of endothelium (lining cells in circulatory vessels) and blood during differentiation of hESCs. These mother cells can give rise to either endothelium or blood with different biochemical signals. These findings have set up a foundation for further studies.

Our lab has recently defined ESC-derived molecules capable of soothing the recipient’s immune system in order to reduce immune rejection. We have also discovered that the combinational use of small molecules targeting embryonic signalling pathways can more effectively kill breast cancer stem cells. Our lab is currently working on studying the specific signalling pathways governing hESC self-renewal and effective differentiation into circulatory cells; understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the immune regulatory property of embryonic stem cells and their potential application; and the eradication of breast cancer stem cells by targeting embryonic signalling pathways.

Selected Publications

Tan Y, Ooi S, Wang L. Immunogenicity and tumorigenicity of pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives: genetic and epigenetic perspectives. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014 Jan;9(1):63-72.

Mohib K, AlKhamees B, Zein HS, Allan D, Wang L. Embryonic stem cell-derived factors inhibit T effector activation and induce T regulatory cells by suppressing PKC-θ activation. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e32420. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032420. Epub 2012 Mar 7.

Wang S, Tian R, Li L, Figeys D, Wang L. An enhanced chemically defined SILAC culture system for quantitative proteomics study of human embryonic stem cells. Proteomics. 2011 Oct;11(20):4040-6. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201100052. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Ryan T, Liu J, Chu A, Wang L, Blais A, Skerjanc IS. Retinoic acid enhances skeletal myogenesis in human embryonic stem cells by expanding the premyogenic progenitor population. Stem Cell Rev. 2012 Jun;8(2):482-93. doi:10.1007/s12015-011-9284-0.

Li L, Wang S, Jezierski A, Moalim-Nour L, Mohib K, Parks RJ, Francesco Retta S, Wang L. A unique interplay between Rap1 and E-cadherin in the endocytic pathway regulates self-renewal of human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells 2010; 28: 247-257.

Li L, Wang BH, Wang S, Moalim-Nour L, Mohib K, Lohnes D, Wang L. Individual cell movement, asymmetric colony expansion, Rho-associated kinase and E-cadherin impact the clonogenic assay of human embryonic stem cells. Biophysical Journal 2010; 98: 2442-2551.

Mohib K, Allan D, Wang L. Human embryonic stem cell-extracts inhibit the differentiation and function of monocyte-derived dendritic cells. Stem Cell Rev. 2010 Dec;6(4):611-21. doi: 10.1007/s12015-010-9185-7.

Tian R, Wang S, Elisma F, Li L, Zhou H, Wang L, Figeys D. Rare cell proteomic reactor applied to stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)-based quantitative proteomics study of human embryonic stem cell differentiation. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2011 Feb;10(2):M110.000679. doi:10.1074/mcp.M110.000679. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Zhong S, Magnolo AL, Sundaram M, Zhou H, Yao EF, Di Leo E, Loria P, Wang S, Bamji-Mirza M, Wang L, McKnight CJ, Figeys D, Wang Y, Tarugi P, Yao Z. Nonsynonymous mutations within APOB in human familial hypobetalipoproteinemia: evidence for feedback inhibition of lipogenesis and postendoplasmic reticulum degradation of apolipoprotein B. J Biol Chem. 2010 Feb 26;285(9):6453-64. doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.060467. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

Jezierski A, Swedani A, Wang L. Development of hematopoietic and endothelial cells from human embryonic stem cells: lessons from the studies using mouse as a model. ScientificWorldJournal. 2007 Dec 10;7:1950-64. doi: 10.1100/tsw.2007.310. Review.

Cerdan C, Bendall SC, Wang L, Stewart M, Werbowetski T, Bhatia M. Complement targeting of nonhuman sialic acid does not mediate cell death of human ESCs. Nature Medicine 2006; 12: 1113-1114.

Wang L. Endothelial and hematopoietic cell fate of human embryonic stem cells. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine. 2006; 16:89-94.

Menendez P, Bueno C, Wang L. Human embryonic stem cells: A journey beyond cell replacement therapies. Cytotherapy. 2006;8(6):530-41. Review.

Wang L, Li L, Menendez P, Cerdan C, Goodale D, Bhatia M. Human embryonic stem cells maintained in the absence of mouse embryonic fibroblasts or conditioned media are capable of hematopoietic development. Blood 2005; 105: 4598-4603.

Wang L, Menendez P, Cerdan C, Bhatia M. Hematopoietic development from human embryonic stem cell lines. Exp Hematol. 2005 Sep;33(9):987-96. Review.

Menendez P, Wang L, Bhatia M. Genetic manipulation of human embryonic stem cells: a system to study early human development and potential therapeutic applications. Curr Gene Ther. 2005 Aug;5(4):375-85. Review.

Roura-Mir C, Wang L, Cheng TY, Matsunaga I, Dascher CC, Peng SL, Fenton MJ, Kirschning C, Moody DB. Mycobacterium tuberculosis regulates CD1 antigen presentation pathways through TLR-2. J Immunol. 2005 Aug 1;175(3):1758-66.

Wang L, Menendez P, Shojaei F, Li L, Mazurier F, Dick JE, Cerdan C, Levac K, Bhatia M. Generation of hematopoietic repopulating cells from human embryonic stem cells independent of ectopic HOXB4 expression. J Exp Med. 2005 May 16;201(10):1603-14. Epub 2005 May 9.

Menendez P, Wang L, Chadwick K, Li L, Bhatia M. Retroviral transduction of hematopoietic cells differentiated from human embryonic stem cell-derived CD45(neg)PFV hemogenic precursors. Mol Ther. 2004 Dec;10(6):1109-20.

Wang L, Li L, Shojaei F, Levac K, Cerdan C, Menendez P, Martin T, Rouleau A, Bhatia M. Endothelial and hematopoietic cell fate of human embryonic stem cells originates from primitive endothelium with hemangioblastic properties. Immunity. 2004 Jul;21(1):31-41.

Kamath AB, Wang L, Das H, Li L, Reinhold VN, Bukowski JF. Antigens in tea-beverage prime human Vgamma 2Vdelta 2 T cells in vitro and in vivo for memory and nonmemory antibacterial cytokine responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 May 13;100(10):6009-14. Epub 2003 Apr 28.

Chadwick K, Wang L, Li L, Menendez P, Murdoch B, Rouleau A, Bhatia M. Cytokines and BMP-4 promote hematopoietic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Blood. 2003 Aug 1;102(3):906-15. Epub 2003 Apr 17.

Wang L, Das H, Kamath A, Li L, Bukowski JF. Human V gamma 2V delta 2 T cells augment migration-inhibitory factor secretion and counteract the inhibitory effect of glucocorticoids on IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha production. J Immunol. 2002 May 15;168(10):4889-96.

Wang L, Das H, Kamath A, Bukowski JF. Human V gamma 2V delta 2 T cells produce IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha with an on/off/on cycling pattern in response to live bacterial products. J Immunol. 2001 Dec 1;167(11):6195-201.

Wang L, Kamath A, Das H, Li L, Bukowski JF. Antibacterial effect of human V gamma 2V delta 2 T cells in vivo. J Clin Invest. 2001 Nov;108(9):1349-57.

Das H, Wang L, Kamath A, Bukowski JF. Vgamma2Vdelta2 T-cell receptor-mediated recognition of aminobisphosphonates. Blood. 2001 Sep 1;98(5):1616-8.

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