Jun Wu obtained his bachelor degree in Clinical Medicine from Shandong University School of Medicine, China. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Life Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, focusing on centrosome cycle regulation. Dr. Wu received his postdoctoral training at University of Southern California with Dr. Martin Pera and the Salk Institute with Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte. His postdoctoral work focused on stem cell biology and genome editing. In January 2018, Dr. Wu joined UT Southwestern as an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Biology.

Dr. Wu’s work has contributed to the generation of new stem cells for basic and translational studies, and developing novel and efficient genome and epigenome editing tools. He expanded the spectrum of pluripotent states by capturing several new types of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) with distinct molecular and phenotypic features from different species. He has also generated PSC-derived interspecies chimeras and developed an efficient and versatile interspecies blastocyst complementation system for the generation of organs and tissues from one species inside another species. His group is particularly interested in harnessing interspecies chimeras for studying developmental biology in an evolutionary context, body- and organ-size determination, species’ specific behavioral traits, cancer resistance, and molecular basis of species barriers. Most recently, Dr. Wu's group has developed strategies to generate stem cell embryo models for studying peri-implantation development in vitro. 

Research Interest

  • Genome and Epigenome Editing
  • Interspecies Chimeras and Organogenesis
  • Pluripotent stem cells
  • Species Preservation
  • Stem cell embryo models


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Fitness selection in human pluripotent stem cells and interspecies chimeras: Implications for human development and regenerative medicine.
Wu J, Barbaric I, Dev Biol 2021 Apr 476 209-217
Chimeric contribution of human extended pluripotent stem cells to monkey embryos ex vivo.
Tan T, Wu J, Si C, Dai S, Zhang Y, Sun N, Zhang E, Shao H, Si W, Yang P, Wang H, Chen Z, Zhu R, Kang Y, Hernandez-Benitez R, Martinez Martinez L, Nuñez Delicado E, Berggren WT, Schwarz M, Ai Z, Li T, Rodriguez Esteban C, Ji W, Niu Y, Izpisua Belmonte JC, Cell 2021 Apr 184 8 2020-2032.e14
Cross-species single-cell transcriptomic analysis reveals pre-gastrulation developmental differences among pigs, monkeys, and humans.
Liu T, Li J, Yu L, Sun HX, Li J, Dong G, Hu Y, Li Y, Shen Y, Wu J, Gu Y, Cell Discov 2021 Feb 7 1 8

Honors & Awards

  • Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research
    The Endowed Scholars Program in Medical Science provides generous financial support over four years to newly appointed tenure-track assistant professors at UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2018)
  • CPRIT Scholar: First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members Program
    The First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Members program recruits emerging investigators pursuing their first faculty appointment who have the ability to make outstanding contributions to the field of cancer research. (2017)
  • Postdoctoral Training Fellowship , California Institute for Regenerative Medicine