Sunny Wong joined the University of Michigan in December 2011 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. He conducted his graduate research in the lab of Richard Hynes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his Ph.D. in 2007. Subsequently he trained with Jeremy Reiter as an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at the University of California San Francisco.
Stem cells during hair follicle morphogenesis, wound healing and skin cancer
The major focus of the Wong lab is to investigate the roles of different stem cell populations during hair follicle development, wound healing and tumorigenesis. Our previous work revealed that wounding can recruit oncogene-expressing stem cells from a hair follicle niche into sites of injury, where they subsequently give rise to tumors resembling basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), the most common cancer in North America. Our current work is now focused on understanding the migratory factors that promote the trafficking of hair follicle stem cells to wound sites and the regenerative behavior of these cells once they have reached their destination. We are also interested in studying the signaling pathways that mediate BCC carcinogenesis, including Hedgehog, Wnt and Notch, as well as other factors that impinge upon transduction of these networks. Finally, we are examining BCC tumor progression in the context of normal hair follicle development -- comparing and contrasting these two processes as a possible means of gaining novel insights.
Wong, S.Y. and Reiter, J.F. "Wounding mobilizes hair follicle stem cells to form tumors." 2011. 108: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. pp. 4093-4098. (PMCID: PMC3053984)
Wong, S.Y., Seol, A.D., So, P.L., Ermilov, A.N., Bichakjian, C.K., Epstein Jr., E.H., Dlugosz, A.A., and Reiter, J.F. "Primary cilia can both mediate and suppress Hedgehog pathway-dependent tumorigenesis." 2009. 15: Nature Medicine. pp. 1055-1061. (PMCID: PMC2895420)
Wong, S.Y. and Reiter, J.F. "The primary cilium: at the crossroads of mammalian hedgehog signaling." 2009. 85: Current Topics in Developmental Biology. pp. 225-60. (review article) (PMCID: PMC2653622)