AG Kim

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Identifying Pathways and Mechanisms Involved in Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation

Scientific focus

Distinct organs often contain a resident population of organ-specific stem cells that enable tissue-specific regeneration throughout most of adult life. Recent findings suggest that cell fate decisions made by cells in their past are not irrevocable but might be reverted and reprogrammed. This dynamic concept of a cell’s fate corresponds with the established view that maintenance of a cellular phenotype does not reflect a static state but rather requires continuous regulation. This phenomenon enables to redirect and manipulate cells and enhance regenerative properties of tissues and organs provided that the molecular mechanisms in regulating cellular phenotype are known.

A major goal of our research is to elucidate processes that govern the self-renewal and coordinated differentiation of stem cells during development and regeneration. We aim at reaching an understanding of stem cell mediated tissue regeneration and of how defects in these processes can lead to the manifestation of human disease including cancer, or to the progressive loss of regenerative potential during disease and physiological aging. To this end, we integrate systems biological pipelines and develop both in vitro models and tissue specific knockout mice to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in determining cell fate decisions.


Come join us, highly motivated team members are welcome.

Group members

Yanpu Chen

Lea Frauendorfer

Tianlin Lu

Felipe Lüttmann

Daniel Pankratz

Leah Schüler

Selected Publications

Chen Y, et al., "Reversible reprogramming of cardiomyocytes to a fetal state drives heart regeneration in mice."
Science (2021)

Kim KP, et al., "Donor-cell Memory Confers Metastable State of Directly Converted Cells."
Cell Stem Cell (2021) 

Kim KP, et al., "Permissive epigenomic states endow reprogramming competence to a broad range of transcriptional regulators."
Nature Chemical Biology (2020)

Bentsen M, et al., "ATAC-seq footprinting unravels kinetics of transcription factor binding during zygotic genome activation." 
Nature Communications (2020)

Sreenivasan K, et al., "Attenuated Epigenetic Suppression of Muscle Stem Cell Necroptosis Is Required for Efficient Regeneration of Dystrophic Muscles." 
Cell Reports (2020)

Kim J and Braun T., "Keeping Fibrotic Responses in Contractile Tissues at Bay: The Plot t(Hic1)ens." 
Cell Stem Cell (2020)

Preussner et al., "Oncogenic amplification of zygotic Dux factors in regenerating p53-deficient muscle stem cells defines a molecular cancer subtype."
Cell Stem Cell (2018)

Zhang T, et al. ” Prmt5 is a regulator of muscle stem cell expansion in adult mice”
Nature Communications (2015)

Kim J and Braun T, “Targeting the cellular origin of organ fibrosis”,
Cell Stem Cell, (2015)

Günther S, et al., ”Myf5-positive satellite cells contribute to Pax7-dependent long-term maintenance of adult muscle stem cells”,
Cell Stem Cell, (2013)

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