Ken Cho

picture of Ken  Cho

Professor, Developmental & Cell Biology
School of Biological Sciences

Phone: (949) 824-4067, 7950
Fax: (949) 824-9395

University of California, Irvine
Rm 4410 Nat Sci II
Mail Code: 2300
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Systems Biology of Development: Growth factor signaling and functional genomics
Academic Distinctions
Editorial Board, Developmental Biology (2011-present)
Editorial Board, JoVE (2014-present)
Advisory Board Member, Growth, Development and Differentiation (2002 - 2010)
Editorial Board, Cell Research (2005 - 2010)

2013 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Short Term Visiting Fellow
2012 AAAS fellow (elected)
2000 Visiting Professor Award at Nara Institute of Science and Technology
1999 Golden Key Honorary Society, Honorary Member
1998 Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences, Long Term Visiting Fellow
1996- 2001 NIH Research Career Development Award
1994-1998 Pew Scholars in Biomedical Sciences
1993-1995 American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Awards
1992-1994 Basil O’Connor, March of Dimes Research Scholar
1986-1991 Postdoctoral Fellow, Biological Chemistry, UCLA, CA
Research Abstract
Gene Regulatory Networks Regulating Endoderm Development
A major unanswered question in biology is how differentiation of the myriad cell types of the adult body is hardwired in the genome. Using the frog as a model system, our goal is to elucidate the mechanisms controlling endoderm formation by combining experimental (e.g., ChIPseq and RNAseq) and computational approaches. Production of a thorough endodermal gene regulatory network in frog will provide a useful framework for prediction, that is applicable to early mouse and human embryogenesis, thereby offering valuable knowledge to the broader scientific community for reprogramming stem cells along endodermal cell lineages.

BMP Signaling in Preimplantation Mammalian Development
Using quantitative imaging techniques and analyses, we map and quantitate the dynamic activities of BMP signaling activities in preimplantation mouse embryos and demonstrate for the first time the biological function and mechanism of BMP signaling in the preimplantation mammalian embryos. We show that BMP signaling regulates cell division and is critical for the establishment of mouse blastocysts. Our work will shed light on an issue of early pregnancy loss: failure of the blastocyst to undergo normal development.

Genome engineering using the CRISPR/Cas9
The CRISPR/Cas9 system relies upon the formation of double-stranded hybrids between synthetic guide RNA and genomic DNA and confers mutations in the genome. With Xenopus, the ability to microinject hundreds of synchronous, in vitro-fertilized embryos represents a significant advantage over other systems for examining mutations in the F0 generation. We use Xenopus tropicalis and develop methods to eliminate a large genomic region and induce a homologous recombination at a desired locus within the genome.
Available Technologies
Reyes de Mochel, NS., Luong, M., Chiang, M., Javier, A.L., Luu, E., Cinquin, O., and Cho, KWY. (2015). BMP signaling regulates both cell proliferation and ICM lineage commitment in preimplantation-stage mouse embryos. Dev Biol. 397: 45-55.
Yang, G., Yuan, G., Cho, K.W.Y., and Chen, Y. (2014). An atypical canonical BMP signaling pathway regulates Msx1 expression during odontogenesis. J Biol Chem. 289, 31492-31502
Chiu, WT., Le, R., Li, Y., Beisinger, J., Blitz, IL., Xie, X., and Cho,, KWY. (2014). Comprehensive genomic view of FoxH1 and Smad2/3 interaction in mesendoderm development. Development 141:4537-47. PMID: 25359723
Nakayama, T., Blitz I.L., Fish, M.B., Sumanth, A., Cho, K.W.Y., Grainger R. (2014). Cas9-Based Genome Editing in Xenopus tropicalis. In: Jennifer A. Doudna and Erik J. Sontheimer, editors, Methods in Enzymology, Vol. 546, Burlington: Academic Press, 2014, pp. 355-375. ISBN: 978-0-12-801185-0
Blitz, IL., Luong, M., Chu, W. and Cho, K.W. (2014). Application of genomic approaches to developmental biology (book chapter for Principal of Developmental Genetics, 2nd edition. Edited by Sally Moody). 37-48
Yasuoka, Y., Suzuki, Y., Takahashi, S., Sudou, N., Haramoto, Y., Cho, KW., Asashima, M., Sugano, S., and Taira, M. (2014). Otx2 and TLE/Groucho occupancy marks tissue-specific cisregulatory modules for head specification. Nature Communiations, 9:4322.
Cho, K.W.Y. (2014). Adapting NIH grant review process in Japan (written in Japanese). Experimental Medicine, 32 (1):91-92.
Zheng, Z., Christley, S., Chiu, WT., Blitz, IL., Xie, X., Cho, KWY., Nie, Q. (2014) Inference of the Xenopus tropicalis embryonic regulatory network and spatial gene expression patterns. BMS Systems Biology. BMC Syst Biol. 8:3
Blitz,IL., Biesinger, J., Xie, X., and Cho, KWY.(2013). Biallelic Genome Modification in F0 Xenopus tropicalis Embryos Using the CRISPR/Cas System. Genesis, 51:827-34.
Doan, LT., Javier, A., Furr, NM., Nguyen, K., Cho, KW., and Monuki, ES. (2012). An ultrasensitive Bmp signaling reporter reveals that high Bmp signaling is not required for cortical hem fate. PLoS One. 7(9):e44009.
Javier, A., Doran, L., Luong, M., Sun, A., Monuki, E., Cho KWY. (2012). Bmp indicator mice reveal dynamic regulation of transcriptional response. PLoS One. 7(9):e42566.
Cho, KWY., Review on enhancers, Online Developmental Biology. (2012) DOI: 10.1002/wdev.53
Alexander C, Zuniga E, Blitz IL, Wada N, Le Pabic P, Javidan Y, Zhang T, Cho KW, Crump JG, Schilling TF. (2011). Combinatorial roles for BMPs and Endothelin 1 in patterning the dorsalventral axis of the craniofacial skeleton. Development. 138:5135-46. PMID: 22031543.
Onai, T. Blitz, I.L., Cho, K.W., and Holland, L.Z. (2010). Opposing Nodal/Vg1 and BMP signals mediate axial patterning in embryos of the basal chordate amphioxus.Dev Biol. 344:377-89.
Kim, H.J., Chun, B.G., Shin, H.S., Sun, A., Cho K.W.Y. and Jeon N.L. (2009). Microfluidic culture platform for investigating the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. Methods in Bioengineering Series: Stem Cell Bioengineering (edited by Parekkadan, B and Yarmush M.L.) (Book chapter). 75-88.
Karaulanov, E., Böttcher, R.T., Stannek, P., Wu, W., Rau, M., Ogata, S., Cho, K.W. and Niehrs, C. (2009). Unc5B interacts with FLRT3 and Rnd1 to modulate cell adhesion in Xenopus embryos. PLoS one.4:5742e.
Blitz, I.L., and Cho, K.W. (2009). Finding partners: How BMPs select their targets. Dev Dynamics 238:1321-1331.
Jarikji, Z., Horb, LZ., Shariff1, F., Mandato, C.A., Cho, KW, and Horb, M.E. (2009). The tetraspanin tm4sf3 is localized to the ventral pancreas and regulates fusion of the dorsal and ventral pancreatic buds. Development 136:1791-1800
Hayata T, Blitz IL, Iwata N, Cho KW. (2009). Identification of embryonic pancreatic genes using Xenopus DNA microarrays. Dev Dyn. 238:1455-1466
Maretto S, Müller PS, Aricescu AR, Cho KW, Bikoff EK, Robertson EJ. (2008). Ventral closure, headfold fusion and definitive endoderm migration defects in mouse embryos lacking the fibronectin leucine-rich transmembrane protein FLRT3. Dev Biol. 318:184-93.
Professional Societies
Society for Developmental Biology
American Association for the Advancement of Science
JSPS US Fellow Alumni Association
Other Experience
Adjunct Professor
Division of Life Sciences, Pohang University, Korea 2006—pres

Visiting Professor
Graduate School of Science, Kobe University, 2014—2015

Visiting Professor
University of Tokyo 2013—2013

Graduate Programs
Cellular and Molecular Biosciences

Research Centers
2006- present Member, Center for Complex Biological Systems
2006- present Member, Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center
2002- present Member, Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics, member
2001- present Member, UCI Cancer Center
1992- 2010 Member, Developmental Biology Center
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