Lingjuan He, Ph.D.

School of Life Sciences

Genetic Lineage Tracing and Tissue Regeneration Lab




Lingjuan He, Ph.D.

School of Life Sciences

Genetic Lineage Tracing and Tissue Regeneration Lab





Dr. Lingjuan He received her bachelor degree of food science and engineering in 2010. She then went to the Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences for her PhD studies, working on the heart development and regeneration in the laboratory of Dr. Bin Zhou. After getting her Ph.D. degree in 2015, She became a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where she developed new genetic lineage tracing technology to better understand the in vivo cell fate plasticity of stem cells during tissue repair and regeneration. After completing her postdoctoral training in 2017, she continued to work at the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology as a research fellow. Dr. Lingjuan He joined the Westlake University in 2021 as a Principal Investigator. 


Genetic lineage tracing is a powerful technology for studying the cell origin and fate during organ development, tissue homeostasis, diseases, and regeneration. Conventional genetic lineage tracing technology is based on Cre-loxP recombination system, which is widely used to track cells to understand their fate transition in vivo.  Dr. Lingjuan He developed dual recombinased-mediated genetic lineage tracing approach for cell fate mapping studies with improved precision. Using the “stage-of-the-art” technology, she explored the developmental origins of coronary vessels and the cellular sources of cardiomyocytes after cardiac injuries. Recently, Dr. Lingjuan He took advantage of dual-recombinases to develop an inducible genetic tracing system—ProTracer for continuous genetic recording of cell proliferation in mouse tissues. ProTracer enabled tissue-specific recording of in vivo of cell proliferation and non-invasive long-term monitoring of cell proliferation over time in live animals. Using ProTracer, she discovered the cell source for new hepatocyte generation during liver homeostasis, repair, and regeneration. Future applications and further iterations of ProTracer would significantly advance our understanding of cell generation and their dynamics in development, growth, regeneration, and diseases in multiple organs and tissues.

Our future research interest will focus on the following directions:

1) Development and application of new genetic lineage tracing technology.

2) The cellular origin and fate plasticity for tissue repair and regeneration after injury.

3) The cellular and molecular mechanism of organ regeneration.


Representative Publications

1. He L#, Pu W#, Liu X#, Zhang Z, Han M, Li Y, Huang X, Han X, Li Y, Liu K, Shi M, Lai L, Sun R, Wang Q, Ji Y, Tchorz J, Zhou B. Proliferation tracing reveals regional hepatocyte generation in liver homeostasis and repair. Science2021,371(6532):eabc4346. (#Co-first author)

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2. Han X#, Zhang Z#, He L#, Zhu H#, Li Y, Pu W, Han M, Zhao H, Liu K, Li Y, Huang X, Zhang M, Jin H, Lv Z, Tang J, Wang J, Sun R, Fei J, Tian X, Duan S, Wang Q, Wang L, He B, Zhou B*. A suite of new Dre-recombinase drivers markedly expands the ability to perform intersection genetic targeting. Cell Stem Cell2021.doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2021.01.007  (#Co-first author)

3. He L, Nguyen N, Ardehali R, Zhou B. Heart Regeneration by Endogenous Stem Cells and Cardiomyocyte Proliferation: Controversy, Fallacy, and Progress.Circulation. 2020,142(3):275-291.

4. He L*, Han M, Zhang Z, Li Y, Huang X, Liu X, Pu W, Zhao H, Wang QD, Nie Y, Zhou B. Re-assessment of c-Kit+ Cells for Cardiomyocyte Contribution in Adult Heart. Circulation. 2019,140(2):164-166. (*Co-corresponding author)

5. He L, Zhou B. The Formation of Coronary Vessels in Cardiac Development and Disease. Cold Spring Harb PerspectBiol. 2019, doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a037168.

6. Li Y#, He L#, Huang X, Bhaloo SI, Zhao H, Zhang S, Pu W, Tian X, Li Y, Liu Q, Yu W, Zhang L, Liu X, Liu K, Tang J, Zhang H, Cai D, Ralf AH, Xu Q, Lui KO, Zhou B. Genetic Lineage Tracing of Nonmyocyte Population by Dual Recombinases. Circulation. 2018, 138(8): 793-805. (#Co-first author)

(Comment in “Undeniable Evidence That the Adult Mammalian Heart Lacks an Endogenous Regenerative Stem Cell”, Circulation, 2018)

7. He L*, Li Y, Huang X, Li Y, Pu W, Tian X, Cai D, Huang H, Lui KO, Zhou B. Genetic lineage tracing of resident stem cells by DeaLT. Nat Protoc. 2018, 13(10): 2217-2246. (Cover story) (*Co-corresponding author)

8. He L, Zhou B. The development and regeneration of coronary arteries. Curr Cardiol Rep. 2018, 20(7):54.

9. He L, Li Y, Li Y, Pu W, Huang X, Tian X, Wang Y, Zhang H, Liu Q, Zhang L, Zhao H, Tang J, Ji H, Cai D, Han Z, Han Z, Nie Y, Hu S, Wang QD, Sun R, Fei J, Wang F, Chen T, Yan Y, Huang H, Pu WT, Zhou B. Enhancing the precision of genetic lineage tracing using dual recombinases. Nat Med. 2017, 23(12):1488-1498.

10. He L, Huang X, Kanisicak O, Li Y, Wang Y, Li Y, Pu W, Liu Q, Zhang H, Tian X, Zhao H, Liu X, Zhang S, Nie Y, Hu S, Miao X, Wang QD, Wang F, Chen T, Xu Q, Lui KO, Molkentin JD, Zhou B. Preexisting endothelial cells mediate cardiac neovascularization after injury. J Clin Invest. 2017, 127(8):2968-2981.

(Comments in “Where do new endothelial cells come from in the injured heart?”, Nat Rev Cardiol, 2017, and “The relationship between cardiac endothelium and fibroblasts: it’s complicated”, J Clin Invest, 2017)

11. He L, Zhou B. Cardiomyocyte proliferation: remove brakes and push accelerators. Cell Res. 2017, 27(8):959-960. (Research Comment)

12. He L, Liu Q, Hu T, Huang X, Zhang H, Tian X, Yan Y, Wang L, Huang Y, Miquerol L, Wythe JD, Zhou B. Genetic lineage tracing discloses arteriogenesis as the main mechanism for collateral growth in the mouse heart. Cardiovasc Res. 2016, 109(3): 419-430.

13. Tian X#, Hu T#, Zhang H#, He L#, Huang X, Liu Q, Yu W, He L, Yang Z, Yan Y, Yang X, Zhong TP, Pu WT and Zhou B. Vessel formation. De novo formation of a distinct coronary vascular population in neonatal heart.Science2014, 345:90-94. (#Co-first author)

(Comment in “A crowning achievement for deciphering coronary origins.”, Science, 2014)

14. He L, Tian X, Zhang H, Wythe JD, Zhou B. Fabp4-CreER lineage tracing reveals two distinctive coronary vascular populations. J Cell Mol Med. 2014, 18(11): 2152-2156.

15. He L, Tian X, Zhang H, Hu T, Huang X, Zhang L, Wang Z, Zhou B. BAF200 is required for heart morphogenesis and coronary artery development. PLoS One. 2014, 9(10): e109493.