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Academician Cheng-Ming Chuong gives a talk at NCKU

Tainan, Taiwan, April 8, 2015

Academician Cheng-Ming Chuong from the University of Southern California (USC) gave a talk regarding stem cells and its evolution at the International Conference Hall, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), southern Taiwan, on April 7.

In his talk, Chuong not only emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary research, but also delivered a concise and understandable summary of his research, which has also been published in the scientific journals “Science” and “Cell”.

NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su said, Chuong as a renowned scholar who, despite having published many research papers in international publications, is not hesitant in using simple language to educate the general public as to the essence and importance of research findings.

Chuong founded the NCKU International Research Center for Wound Repair and Regeneration (iWRR) in 2012, and directed many master and doctoral students at both NCKU and USC.

Not only is Chuong dedicated to the field of morphogenesis, his past research on the evolution of dinosaurs into birds is also acclaimed as one of the ten leading scientific breakthroughs of 2014 by “Science.”

Chuong gave a brief overview of his research, beginning by stating that the stem cells for human hair and male beards are actually the same; however, though males experience hair loss in the process of aging, their beards do not undergo thinning.

The underlying cause for this phenomenon, Chuong said, is that the stem cells adapt to the different environments they grow in, and thus exhibit different reactions.

Feathered dinosaurs originally evolved feathers for insulation, with a secondary reason for signal transmission (including opposite sex attraction). Coupled with the drastic environmental changes on Earth, the feathered dinosaurs gradually evolved to birds, according to Chuong.

The very first birds only glided through trees, which later developed to flight, said Chuong. This is proven by how bird feather DNA are all the same; in order to adapt to their habitats, they inevitably develop flight.

Through the bird feather regeneration model, Chuong further studied the regeneration of human skin and hair, in hopes of developing treatments for patients with severe trauma or those whom require reconstructive surgery.

Chuong noted that the key to growing more hair, is how the hair cells transmit the signal for regeneration.

In the past, the research team managed to produce 1000 strands of hair from a sample of 200, the results of which were published in “Cell.” The success for this was the provision of optimal regeneration-activation signals.

NCKU Institute of Clinical Medicine and the iWRR are both attempting to advance current stem cells development research, in the hopes of utilizing it in the clinical arena.

According to Chuong, interdisciplinary research is key to in-depth study. He encouraged students to accumulate knowledge from varied backgrounds and stay curious. Not being limited by existing answers is the first step to successful integrative research, he said.
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Provider : News Center
Date : 104.04.10
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