News: Cellular Biologist Dr. Woo Wei-Meng returns to Malaysia

Dr Wei-Meng WOO
Dr Wei-Meng WOO

After more than a decade abroad, Malaysian scientist Dr. Woo Wei-Meng has returned home to commence her new position as Senior Research Fellow in the University of Malaya.[1] Originally a Biology graduate from the National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan, Dr. Woo completed an MSc in Biochemistry at the National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan before moving to Santa Cruz, USA for her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of California. Her career in academia began at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where she served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow for six years before being promoted to Research Associate in 2010. 

Dr. Woo and her co-workers developed  a rapid hair reconstitution  assay  that is useful for  studies of  gene functions in hair follicle formation.[2]  This hair reconstitution assay has helped Dr. Woo and her collaborators reveal the formation of a perivascular niche for hair follicle stem cells,[3] and in demonstrating that the Missing-in-Metathesis (MIM) protein is a novel cilia regulator. Having identified new pathway regulators in hair follicle formation, Dr. Woo hopes to continue studying the mechanism of these regulators at a functional and molecular level. Results from these studies will provide insights into the stromal environment of skin tumours, and may have implications for future designs of corrective therapies.

[1] University of Malaya High Impact Research News, 7 January 2014. “HIR Talent Corp – Dr. Wei-Meng Woo from Stanford University.”
[2] Woo, W. M., Atwood, S. X., Zhen, H. H., Oro, A. E. (2013). Rapid Genetic Analysis of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Signaling During Hair Regeneration. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 72, e4344.
[3] Xiao, Y., Woo, W. M., Nagao, K., Li, W., Terunuma, A., Mukouyama, Y. S., Oro, A. E., Vogel, J. C., Brownell, I. (2013). Perivascular hair follicle stem cells associate with a venule annulus. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 133, 2324-2331.