The Qiong (Annabel) Wang Lab focuses on white adipose cells in breast tissue, particularly their cell biology and the relationship between a high-fat diet and the mechanisms that cause these cells to differentiate from stem cells. An important resource for this research is the “AdipoChaser” laboratory model for tracking the development of white adipose cells.
One line of investigation examines the molecular mechanisms that regulate the dramatic remodeling of tissue in the mammary glands during the stages of motherhood, as well as the errors that result in diseases such as breast cancer. Our recent results demonstrate the remarkable plasticity of these cells, enabling them to dedifferentiate and redifferentiate. Further studies into the signaling mechanism behind this basic biological phenomenon could identify therapeutic targets for reducing fat and even preventing some cases of breast cancer.
Another area of our basic research involves gestational diabetes and links to type 2 diabetes. We aim to better explain the underlying mechanisms that, in obese women, can interfere with the remodeling of adipose tissue in the breasts needed for lactation.