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CHRISTOPHER J. LENGNER, B.S., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciencews

Member, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Member, Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases, NIH P30 Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases, School of Medicine

Associate Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Director, Center for Animal Transgenesis

Research Areas: Regenerative medicine, Cancer, Reprogramming, Oncogenesis, Oncogenic transformation, Somatic stem cells, Oncology, epithelium, regeneration
PubMed Link
Contact Information:
Christopher J. Lengner
Associate Professor
Department of Biomedical Sciences
School of Veterinary Medicine
3800 Spruce Street, Room 390EA

The overarching goal of my research program is to gain an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern stem cell potency and how dysregulation of these mechanisms can contribute to disease onset and progression, including oncogenesis. My laboratory employs genetic, genomic, and single-cell analysis approaches in murine systems to address these fundamental questions, and, in parallel, utilizes human induced pluripotent cells and patient samples to translate findings into human systems. Using these approaches we have identified novel pathways underlying the somatic stem cell self-renewal and the ontogeny of hematopoietic and gastrointestinal cancers. These pathways are subsequently being assessed as potential points for therapeutic intervention in cancers and diseases of regenerative failure. We have also begun to unravel the hierarchical structure of the intestinal stem cell compartment with the ultimate goal of understanding how perturbations in this hierarchy contribute to disease states, including cancer, chronic inflammation, and regeneration in response to acute injuries such as ischemia or radiation damage.

Lab Members

Ning Li, M.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Dong-Hun Woo, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Angela Ddamba, Research Specialist
Ryan Cedeno, Graduate Student
Maryam Yousefi, Graduate Student (HHMI International Fellow)
Carla Hoge, Undergraduate (UPenn Vagelos Scholar)


Yousefi, M., Li, L., Lengner, C. J. Hierarchy and Plasticity in the Intestinal Stem Cell Compartment Trends Cell Biol 27: 753-764, 2017.

Vu, L. P., Prieto, C., Amin, E. M., Chhangawala, S., Krivtsov, A., Calvo-Vidal, M. N., Chou, T., Chow, A., Minuesa, G., Park, S. M., Barlowe, T. S., Taggart, J., Tivnan, P., Deering, R. P., Chu, L. P., Kwon, J. A., Meydan, C., Perales-Paton, J., Arshi, A., Gonen, M., Famulare, C., Patel, M., Paietta, E., Tallman, M. S., Lu, Y., Glass, J., Garret-Bakelman, F. E., Melnick, A., Levine, R., Al-Shahrour, F., Jaras, M., Hacohen, N., Hwang, A., Garippa, R., Lengner, C. J., Armstrong, S. A., Cerchietti, L., Cowley, G. S., Root, D., Doench, J., Leslie, C., Ebert, B. L., Kharas, M. G. Functional screen of MSI2 interactors identifies an essential role for SYNCRIP in myeloid leukemia stem cells Nat Genet 49: 866-875, 2017.

Yousefi, M., Li, N., Nakauka-Ddamba, A., Wang, S., Davidow, K., Schoenberger, J., Yu, Z., Jensen, S. T., Kharas, M. G., Lengner, C. J. Msi RNA-binding proteins control reserve intestinal stem cell quiescence J Cell Biol 215: 401-413, 2016.

Woo, D. H., Chen, Q., Yang, T. L., Glineburg, M. R., Hoge, C., Leu, N. A., Johnson, F. B., Lengner, C. J. Enhancing a Wnt-Telomere Feedback Loop Restores Intestinal Stem Cell Function in a Human Organotypic Model of Dyskeratosis Congenita Cell Stem Cell 19: 397-405, 2016.

Li, N., Nakauka-Ddamba, A., Tobias, J., Jensen, S. T., Lengner, C. J. Mouse Label-Retaining Cells Are Molecularly and Functionally Distinct From Reserve Intestinal Stem Cells Gastroenterology 151: 298-310 e7, 2016.

Wang, Shan; Li, Ning; Yousefi, Maryam; Nakauka-Ddamba, Angela; Li, Fan; Parada, Kimberly; Rao, Shilpa; Minuesa, Gerard; Katz, Yarden; Gregory, Brian D; Kharas, Michael G; Yu, Zhengquan; Lengner, Christopher J. Transformation of the intestinal epithelium by the MSI2 RNA-binding protein. Nature communications 6: 6517, 2015.

Li, Ning; Yousefi, Maryam; Nakauka-Ddamba, Angela; Jain, Rajan; Tobias, John; Epstein, Jonathan A; Jensen, Shane T; Lengner, Christopher J. Single-cell analysis of proxy reporter allele-marked epithelial cells establishes intestinal stem cell hierarchy. Stem Cell Reports 3: 876-91, 2014.

Lengner Christopher J, Gimelbrant Alexander A, Erwin Jennifer A, Cheng Albert Wu, Guenther Matthew G, Welstead G Grant, Alagappan Raaji, Frampton Garrett M, Xu Ping, Muffat Julien, Santagata Sandro, Powers Doug, Barrett C Brent, Young Richard A, Lee Jeannie T, Jaenisch Rudolf, Mitalipova Maisam Derivation of pre-X inactivation human embryonic stem cells under physiological oxygen concentrations. Cell 141: 872-83, 2010.

Kharas Michael G*, Lengner Christopher J*, Al-Shahrour Fatima, Bullinger Lars, Ball Brian, Zaidi Samir, Morgan Kelly, Tam Winnie, Paktinat Mahnaz, Okabe Rachel, Gozo Maricel, Einhorn William, Lane Steven W, Scholl Claudia, Fröhling Stefan, Fleming Mark, Ebert Benjamin L, Gilliland D Gary, Jaenisch Rudolf, Daley George Q *equally contributing authors Musashi-2 regulates normal hematopoiesis and promotes aggressive myeloid leukemia. Nature medicine 16: 903-8, 2010.

Wernig Marius*, Lengner Christopher J*, Hanna Jacob, Lodato Michael A, Steine Eveline, Foreman Ruth, Staerk Judith, Markoulaki Styliani, Jaenisch Rudolf *equally contributing authors A drug-inducible transgenic system for direct reprogramming of multiple somatic cell types. Nature biotechnology 26: 916-24, 2008.

B.S. (Biotechnology) Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 1998

Ph.D. (Cell and Molecular Biology) University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2004