Jimmy Hu*

Jimmy Hu*

CHS 73-010
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Assistant Professor, Dentistry
Member, Cell & Developmental Biology GPB Home Area

Research Interests

As an embryo develops and primordial organs begin to take shape, a confluence of biochemical and mechanical signals instructs constituent cells to organize into specific patterns and forms. The Hu lab seeks to understand how these signaling cues modulate cell behaviors and gene expression in order to generate correct tissue morphologies and cellular identities during development. The lab uses several craniofacial structures as model systems, including the tooth and the ear, and interrogates them via mouse genetics, live imaging, and biomechanical techniques in order to determine how mechanical forces and biochemical signals are generated and used to control different cellular processes and drive morphogenesis. Dr. Hu’s team has a particular interest in how mechanical forces are integrated with molecular signaling pathways such as Hippo and Integrin, in order to modulate key developmental patterns, such as how epithelial tissues buckle, turn, and invaginate.

In addition to the primary patterning of an organ during development, once an organ is formed it must also be maintained or repaired in order to function normally throughout the lifespan of the animal. Many of these processes are dependent on proper regulation of resident somatic stem cells, which, like progenitor cells in embryos, are under the control of biochemical and mechanical cues. The Hu lab studies how tissue architecture contributes to stem cell regulations, focusing on understanding the roles of cell density, adhesion, and arrangement in governing cell proliferation and differentiation.

Ultimately, the Hu lab aims to extract principal mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis and stem cell regulation from these experiments in order to design and develop strategies for regenerative medicine.


Jimmy K. Hu, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Oral Biology & Medicine at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Dr. Hu has a long-standing interest in developmental and stem cell biology and has focused his research on understanding tissue morphogenesis and stem cell-based renewal during his graduate study at Harvard University and postdoctoral training at UCSF. He joined the UCLA in 2019 and has continued to investigate how organs are shaped and renewed, using teeth and craniofacial structures as model systems.


View a up-to-date publication list: MyNCBI

A selected list of publications: