Songtao Shi


Associate Professor

Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology

Research Topics

  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Diseases

Research Overview

Our research has been focused on characterization of human mesenchymal stem cells and understanding relationship between mesenchymal stem cells and orofacial diseases at molecule and cellular levels. We and our collaborators have isolated and identified several new populations of mesenchymal stem cells, including dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs, PNAS 2000), stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED, PNAS 2003), periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs, Lancet 2004), stem cells from apical papilla (SCAP, PLoS ONE 2006), and tendon stem/progenitor cells (TSPCs, Nat Med 2007). We have further used these stem cells to regenerate a variety of orofacial tissues in animal models (Stem Cells 2007, Stem Cells 2008, Oral Diseases 2008). In addition, we examine how mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) involve in diseases and how to utilize MSC to cure human diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (Nat Biotech 2002, J Clin Invest 2004, PLoS ONE 2008, Blood 2009, Stem Cells 2009). Following is a brief introduction of our current research projects: 1. Understanding mechanism that governs mesenchymal stem cell stemness and differentiation. 2. Isolation and characterized diseased stem cells 3. Interplay between mesenchymal stem cells and Treg/Th17 4. Utilizing mesenchymal stem cell transplantation to cure systemic diseases 5. Stem cell-mediated orofacial tissue regeneration 6. Utilizing mesenchymal stem cells to cure bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw