Wei Tong, Ph.D.

Wei Tong, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Department of Pediatrics

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
316A Abramson Research Center
3615 Civic Center Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(267)426-0930

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Biography

Hundreds of billions of blood cells have to be replenished everyday. Cytokines and cytokine receptors play important roles in blood cell formation, a process known as hematopoiesis. The amplitude and duration of cytokine receptor signaling is a highly regulated process that is crucial for cytokine-governed hematopoiesis. Dysregulation of these complex signaling networks can predispose to myeloproliferative diseases and myeloid leukemia.

We previously identified the adaptor protein, Lnk, as a novel negative regulator of cytokine receptor signaling. Lnk deficiency in mice results in an enhanced proliferative capacity of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progenitor cells of multiple lineages. Lnk loss-of-function leads to hyper-sensitivity to thrombopoietin (Tpo) and erythropoietin (Epo), which regulate platelet and red blood cell formation, respectively. Our results also implicate a new mechanism for rapidly downmodulating cytokine signaling: Lnk negatively regulates cytokine receptor induced JAK2 activity in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. We are interested in:

  • Elucidating molecular mechanisms of Lnk regulatory functions in cytokine receptor signaling.
  • Understanding both normal and oncogenic cytokine receptor signaling processes that control hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell numbers and development in vivo
  • Undertaking studies to identify novel signaling components in the receptor/JAK2. signaling complex that lead to oncogenic transformation, as JAK2 is the central kinase governing many cytokine receptor signaling, and has been found mutated in some patients with myeloproliferative disease.