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George Sen

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of California San Diego
DepartmentDermatology
Address9500 Gilman Drive #0869
La Jolla CA 92093
Phone858-246-0268
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Our research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of epidermal stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Understanding the factors that govern this process is extremely important as perturbations in this intricate balance between growth and differentiation can lead to a variety of human skin disorders. Increased proliferation and diminished differentiation can lead to hyperproliferative disorders such as psoriasis, basal or squamous cell carcinomas. Thus, a comprehensive understanding of the regulators of epidermal stem cell self-renewal and differentiation would be key to unlocking the molecular mechanisms underlying skin disorders and the possibility of developing better treatment for these debilitating disorders. We have focused on identifying epigenetic factors that have functional roles in promoting epidermal stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Our research in the future will continue to focus on identifying and characterizing novel regulators of epidermal homeostasis. Our ultimate goal is to define all the regulators that are important for stem cell self-renewal, differentiation, and tumorigenesis.

    Research Focus Areas:

  • Developmental Biology

  • Genetics and Genomics

  • Gene Expression and Regulation

  • Stem Cell Biology



  • Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Post-Trancriptional Regulation of Epidermal Stem and Progenitor Cell Self-Renewal
    NIH/NIAMS R56AR070729Sep 5, 2017 - Aug 31, 2018
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Limbal Stem Cell Fate and Corneal Specific Enhancers
    NIH/NEI R01EY025090Apr 1, 2015 - Mar 31, 2020
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Regulators of Epidermal Growth and Differentiation
    NIH/NIAMS R01AR066530Feb 17, 2015 - Dec 31, 2019
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Epigenetic Regulators in Epidermal Homeostasis and Neoplasia
    NIH/NIAMS K01AR057828Feb 3, 2010 - Nov 30, 2014
    Role: Principal Investigator
    Role of Polycomb Group Proteins in Epidermal Diffentiation
    NIH/NIAMS F32AR055849Jul 1, 2008 - Jun 30, 2011
    Role: Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Noutsou M, Li J, Ling J, Jones J, Wang Y, Chen Y, Sen G. The Cohesin Complex Is Necessary for Epidermal Progenitor Cell Function through Maintenance of Self-Renewal Genes. Cell Rep. 2017 Sep 26; 20(13):3005-3013. PMID: 28954219.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Sato E, Williams MR, Sanford JA, Sen G, Nakama T, Imafuku S, Gallo RL. The parathyroid hormone family member TIP39 interacts with sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ - ATPase activity by influencing calcium homoeostasis. Exp Dermatol. 2017 Sep; 26(9):792-797. PMID: 28094886.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Wang Y, Sen G. Enhanc(er)ing Skin Stem Cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2016 10 06; 19(4):415-417. PMID: 27716517.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Zhang LJ, Sen G, Ward NL, Johnston A, Chun K, Chen Y, Adase C, Sanford JA, Gao N, Chensee M, Sato E, Fritz Y, Baliwag J, Williams MR, Hata T, Gallo RL. Antimicrobial Peptide LL37 and MAVS Signaling Drive Interferon-ß Production by Epidermal Keratinocytes during Skin Injury. Immunity. 2016 07 19; 45(1):119-30. PMID: 27438769; PMCID: PMC4957248 [Available on 07/19/17].
    5. Li J, Sen G. Post-Transcriptional Mechanisms Regulating Epidermal Stem and Progenitor Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation. J Invest Dermatol. 2016 Apr; 136(4):746-52. PMID: 26875726.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Li J, Sen G. Generation of Genetically Modified Organotypic Skin Cultures Using Devitalized Human Dermis. J Vis Exp. 2015 Dec 14; (106):e53280. PMID: 26709715.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Chen Y, Sen G. SOX2 expression inhibits terminal epidermal differentiation. Exp Dermatol. 2015 Dec; 24(12):974-6. PMID: 26344931.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Wang Y, Arribas-Layton M, Chen Y, Lykke-Andersen J, Sen G. DDX6 Orchestrates Mammalian Progenitor Function through the mRNA Degradation and Translation Pathways. Mol Cell. 2015 Oct 01; 60(1):118-30. PMID: 26412305; PMCID: PMC4592480 [Available on 10/01/16].
    9. Li G, Xu F, Zhu J, Krawczyk M, Zhang Y, Yuan J, Patel S, Wang Y, Lin Y, Zhang M, Cai H, Chen D, Zhang M, Cao G, Yeh E, Lin D, Su Q, Li WW, Sen G, Afshari N, Chen S, Maas RL, Fu XD, Zhang K, Liu Y, Ouyang H. Transcription Factor PAX6 (Paired Box 6) Controls Limbal Stem Cell Lineage in Development and Disease. J Biol Chem. 2015 Aug 14; 290(33):20448-54. PMID: 26045558; PMCID: PMC4536450.
    10. Mistry DS, Chen Y, Wang Y, Sen G. Transcriptional profiling of SNAI2 regulated genes in primary human keratinocytes. Genom Data. 2015 Jun 01; 4:43-46. PMID: 25793155.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Mistry DS, Chen Y, Wang Y, Zhang K, Sen G. SNAI2 controls the undifferentiated state of human epidermal progenitor cells. Stem Cells. 2014 Dec; 32(12):3209-18. PMID: 25100569; PMCID: PMC4339269.
    12. Chen Y, Mistry DS, Sen G. Highly rapid and efficient conversion of human fibroblasts to keratinocyte-like cells. J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Feb; 134(2):335-344. PMID: 23921950; PMCID: PMC3875612.
    13. Zarnegar BJ, Webster DE, Lopez-Pajares V, Vander Stoep Hunt B, Qu K, Yan KJ, Berk DR, Sen G, Khavari PA. Genomic profiling of a human organotypic model of AEC syndrome reveals ZNF750 as an essential downstream target of mutant TP63. Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Sep 07; 91(3):435-43. PMID: 22922031; PMCID: PMC3511987.
    14. Mistry DS, Chen Y, Sen G. Progenitor function in self-renewing human epidermis is maintained by the exosome. Cell Stem Cell. 2012 Jul 06; 11(1):127-35. PMID: 22770246; PMCID: PMC3392610.
    15. Muehleisen B, Bikle DD, Aguilera C, Burton DW, Sen G, Deftos LJ, Gallo RL. PTH/PTHrP and vitamin D control antimicrobial peptide expression and susceptibility to bacterial skin infection. Sci Transl Med. 2012 May 23; 4(135):135ra66. PMID: 22623742; PMCID: PMC3725981.
    16. Sen G, Boxer LD, Webster DE, Bussat RT, Qu K, Zarnegar BJ, Johnston D, Siprashvili Z, Khavari PA. ZNF750 is a p63 target gene that induces KLF4 to drive terminal epidermal differentiation. Dev Cell. 2012 Mar 13; 22(3):669-77. PMID: 22364861; PMCID: PMC3306457.
    17. Sen G. Remembering one's identity: the epigenetic basis of stem cell fate decisions. FASEB J. 2011 Jul; 25(7):2123-8. PMID: 21441350.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Khavari DA, Sen G, Rinn JL. DNA methylation and epigenetic control of cellular differentiation. Cell Cycle. 2010 Oct 01; 9(19):3880-3. PMID: 20890116.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Sen G, Reuter JA, Webster DE, Zhu L, Khavari PA. DNMT1 maintains progenitor function in self-renewing somatic tissue. Nature. 2010 Jan 28; 463(7280):563-7. PMID: 20081831; PMCID: PMC3050546.
    20. Sen G, Webster DE, Barragan DI, Chang HY, Khavari PA. Control of differentiation in a self-renewing mammalian tissue by the histone demethylase JMJD3. Genes Dev. 2008 Jul 15; 22(14):1865-70. PMID: 18628393; PMCID: PMC2492733.
    21. Zhang F, Pomerantz JH, Sen G, Palermo AT, Blau HM. Active tissue-specific DNA demethylation conferred by somatic cell nuclei in stable heterokaryons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Mar 13; 104(11):4395-400. PMID: 17360535; PMCID: PMC1838613.
    22. Sen G, Blau HM. A brief history of RNAi: the silence of the genes. FASEB J. 2006 Jul; 20(9):1293-9. PMID: 16816104.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Sen G, Wehrman TS, Blau HM. mRNA translation is not a prerequisite for small interfering RNA-mediated mRNA cleavage. Differentiation. 2005 Jul; 73(6):287-93. PMID: 16138829.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Sen G, Blau HM. Argonaute 2/RISC resides in sites of mammalian mRNA decay known as cytoplasmic bodies. Nat Cell Biol. 2005 Jun; 7(6):633-6. PMID: 15908945.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Sen G, Wehrman TS, Myers JW, Blau HM. Restriction enzyme-generated siRNA (REGS) vectors and libraries. Nat Genet. 2004 Feb; 36(2):183-9. PMID: 14704668.
      View in: PubMed
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