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Academic Staff

Professor HE, Mu 何睦

Professor HE, Mu 何睦

  • BS, PhD (Cornell U)
  • Assistant Professor
L4-62, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9529
  • Development and regeneration of the respiratory system 
  • Airway mucus and cilia interaction 
  • Airway organoid platforms for human disease modeling

Dr. Mu He is an incoming Assistant Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Hong Kong. She graduated with a BS from Cornell University in 2007. She pursued her graduate research in the laboratory of Katheryn Anderson at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from 2008 to 2014. Her PhD thesis focused on the genetic and molecular connections between primary cilia and the mammalian Hedgehog signalling. To follow how embryonic forms acquire physiological functions, she pursued her postdoctoral training with Lily Jan at University of California, San Francisco from 2014 to 2020. In collaboration with Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, she constructed a comprehensive single cell atlas of the developing trachea of mice and humans to better understand the developmental programs and cellular composition that establish the airway mucosal barrier. 

The highly conserved respiratory system of air breathing animals represents a major interface between internal organs and the environment. In the He lab, we are leveraging the power of stem cell biology, live imaging, organoids, and single-cell technologies to understand how the respiratory system develops, repairs, and regenerates. Our lab focuses on the respiratory epithelial cells, as they form a protective mucosal barrier, clears inhaled pathogens, and initiates immune responses to harmful signals. Given the species-specific differences in airway biology between mice and humans, new approaches are needed and we are using new model systems and performing comparative studies to reveal unifying principles of regeneration. Through proactive collaboration between research and medicine, our ultimate goal is to translate basic biomedical discovery into effective therapies for patients affected by respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, asthma, COPD, and cancers.

  1. He, M*†., Wu, B*., Ye, W., Le, D. D., Sinclair, A. W., Padovano, V., Chen, Y., Li, K., Sit, R., Tan, M., Caplan, M. J., Neff, N., Jan, Y. N., Darmanis, S†., Jan, L. Y†. (2020) Chloride channels regulate differentiation and barrier functions of the mammalian airway.​ eLife 9:e53085 PMID: 32286221
    co-first authors † co-correspondent authors
  2. The Tabula Muris consortium et al. (2020) A single cell transcriptomic atlas characterizes aging tissues in the mouse. Nature 583, 590–595 PMID: 32669714
  3. Ramirez-San Juan, G. R., Mathijssen, A. T. M., He, M., Jan, L. Y., Marshall, W., Prakash, M. (2020) Multi- scale spatial heterogeneity enhances particle clearance in airway ciliary arrays. Nature Physics, 16(9):958–964​
  4. Li, K., He, M., Simms, J., Gill, M., Ye, W., Jan, Y. N., Jan, L. Y.(2019) TMEM16B regulates anxiety-related behavior and GABAergic neuronal signaling in the central lateral amygdala. eLife 8:e47106 PMID: 31482844
  5. Ye, W., Han, T. W., He, M., Jan, Y. N., Jan, L. Y. (2019) Dynamic change of electrostatic field in TMEM16F permeation pathway shifts its ion selectivity. eLife 8, e45187 PMID: 31318330
  6. He, M., Ye, W., Wang, WJ., Sison, E. S., Jan, Y. N., & Jan, L. Y. (2017). Cytoplasmic Cl- couples membrane remodeling to epithelial morphogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA,114(52), E11161–E11169. PMCID: PMC5748203
  7. He, M., Agbu, S. & Anderson, K. V. (2017) Microtubule Motors Drive Hedgehog Signaling in Primary Cilia. Trends Cell Biol. 27, 110–125 PMCID: PMC5258846
  8. He, M., Subramanian, R., Bangs, F., Omelchenko, T., Liem, K. F. Jr. Kapoor, T. M and Anderson, K.V. (2014) The Kinesin-4 protein KIF7 kinesin regulates mammalian Hedgehog signaling by organizing the cilia tip compartment. Nature Cell Biology 16, 663–672. PMID: 24952464
  9. Liem, K. F. Jr., Ashe, A., He, M., Satir, P., Moran, J., Beier, D., Wicking, C. and Anderson, K.V. (2012) The IFT-A complex regulates Shh signaling through cilia structure and membrane protein trafficking. J. Cell Biol. 197, 789–800 PMID: 22689656
  10. Tuson, M.*, He, M.* and Anderson, K. V. (2011) Protein kinase A acts at the basal body of the primary cilium to prevent Gli2 activation and ventralization of the mouse neural tube. Development. 138(22): 4921-30. PMID: 22007132
    co-first authors
  11. Liem, K. F. Jr., He, M., Ocbina, P. J. and Anderson, K. V. (2009) Mouse Kif7/Costal2 is a cilia-associated protein that regulates Sonic hedgehog signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 106:13377-13382. PMCID: PMC2726420

2020  Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund Scholarship, US

2017-2020  Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, US

2012  ASCB Travel Award for Graduate Student, American Society of Cell Biology, US

2009  Direct Travel Grant from the Company of Biological Society of Development, UK

2007  Distinction in Research and High Honors, Cornell University, US

2007  Charitable Trust Research Grant, Cornell University, US

We are actively recruiting postgraduate students and research assistants to join our lab. Please email Dr. Mu He directly for potential projects.