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Mingfu Wu , PhD
Assistant Professor

Phone: 518-262-0477
Fax: 518-262-8101


2005 - PhD from Kansas State University

Current Research



       We are interested in how cell polarity and asymmetric cell division contribute to cardiac progenitor differentiation and cardiac development. Currently, we focus on how cell polarity genes Numb and CDC42 function in epicardial cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition and differentiation to cardiac smooth muscle cells and fibroblast. Additionally, we are also interested in the functions of these genes in cardiac progenitor differentiation to different cardiac lineages in the mouse heart. Both epicardial cell specific and cardiac specific deletion of Numb and Numblike cause embryonic lethality and differentiation defect. The mechanism of how Numb is involved in cardiac progenitor differentiation is under investigation.



Research Interests


     We are interested in Stem Cell self-renewal and differentiation. Specifically how cell polarity and asymmetric cell division function in embryonic stem cell specification to cardiac progenitor then differentiate to different cardiac lineages using genetic, developmental, molecular, biochemical and cellular tools.  One of the tools we used a lot is the 4-dimentional Time-lapse image (Movie, 2010, Wu et al). 



Research Summary


     Stem cells are defined by their ability to self-renewal to propagate its population and also to differentiate to their destined cells to maintain tissue homeostasis. One of the key mechanisms for stem cell to fulfill its function is the division pattern: symmetric cell division and asymmetric division, which is usually determined by the niche (Figure, Wu, et al, Dev. Cell 2010). Symmetric cell division contributes to expand stem cell population, while asymmetric cell division contributes to differentiation. We are interested in how asymmetric cell division is controlled during stem cell differentiation in vivo.



PubMed Publications

  1. A novel noncanonical Wnt pathway is involved in the regulation of the asymmetric B cell division in C. elegans. 2006. Developental Biology Wu M, Herman MA.

  2. Asymmetric localizations of LIN-17/Fz and MIG-5/Dsh are involved in the asymmetric B cell division in C. elegans. 2007. Developmental Biology Wu M, Herman MA.

  3. Imaging hematopoietic precursor division in real time. 2007. Cell Stem Cell. Wu M, Kwon HY, Rattis F, Blum J, Zhao C, Ashkenazi R, Jackson TL, Gaiano N, Oliver T, Reya T.

  4. Epicardial spindle orientation controls cell entry into the myocardium. 2010. Developmental Cell Wu M, Smith CL, Hall JA, Lee I, Luby-Phelps K, Tallquist MD.

  5. Deletion of YAP Specifically in Cardiac and Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Reveals a Crucial Role for YAP in Mouse Cardiovascular Development. 2014. Circulation Research. Wang Y, Hu G, Liu F, Wang X, Wu M, Schwarz JJ, Zhou J.

  6. Numb family proteins are essential for cardiac morphogenesis and progenitor differentiation. 2014. Development. Zhao C1, Guo H, Li J, Myint T, Pittman W, Yang L, Zhong W, Schwartz RJ, Schwarz JJ, Singer HA, Tallquist MD, Wu M.

Other Links

  1. Lab of Michelle Tallquist

  2. Lab of Tannishtha Reya

  3. Lab of Michael Herman

  4. International Society for Stem Cell Research

  5. Society for Developmental Biology

  6. The American Society for Cell Biology

  7. Genetics Society of America

  8. The Center For Cardiovascular Sciences