Kyunghee Choi, PhD

Professor, Pathology & Immunology

Research Interests

Our research program utilizes an in vitro differentiation model of embryonic stem (ES) cells and early mouse embryos to study the mechanisms by which blood (hematopoietic) and blood vessel (endothelial) cell lineage differentiation are regulated. So far we have shown that hematopoietic and endothelial cells develop from mesoderm via an intermediate progenitor known as the hemangioblast, which expresses Flk-1, a receptor tyrosine kinase, and Scl, a transcription factor. We are currently investigating signals that control the step-wise commitment from the mesoderm to Flk-1 expressing mesoderm, from the Flk-1 expressing mesoderm to hemangioblast, and from the hemangioblast to hematopoietic and endothelial cells. In addition, we are investigating transcriptional regulatory mechanisms involved in the hemangioblast specification and differentiation. Our preliminary studies indicate that the hemangioblast gene expression pattern is similar to that of other stem cells, including hematopoietic, neural and embryonic. Our hope is to better understand regulatory mechanisms involved in stem cell renewal and differentiation. Ultimately, we want to apply this knowledge to modulate stem cell function and facilitate isolation of various progenitor/precursor cells for therapeutic purposes.

Editorial Responsibilities

2004 – Present Editorial Board Experimental Hematology

Service to the University

1999 – Present Lecturer in Foundations in Immunology, Hematopoiesis
1999 – Present Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences Admission Committee

DBBS Graduate Program Affiliations

  • Immunology Program
  • Molecular Cell Biology Program
  • Developmental Biology Program


Pub Med Search

Park C, Afrikanova I, Chung YS, Zhang WJ, Arentson A, Fong GH, Rosendahl A, Choi K.. A hierarchical order of factors in the generation of Flk-1 and Scl expressing hematopoietic and endothelial progenitors from embryonic stem cells.. Development 131:2749-2762, 2004 Abstract
Zhang WJ, Park C, Arentson E, Choi K.. Modulation of hematopoietic and endothelial cell differentiation from mouse embryonic stem cells by different culture conditions.. Blood, Blood First Edition Paper, prepublished on, 2004
Johnson KD, Grass JA, Park C, Im H, Choi K, Bresnick EH.. Highly restricted localization of RNA Polymerase II within a locus control region of a tissue-specific chromatin domain.. Mol Cell Biol 23:6484-6493, 2003 Abstract
Im H, Park C, Feng Q, Johnson KD, Kiekhaefer CM, Choi K, Zhang Y, Bresnick EH.. Dynamic regulation of histone H3 methylated at lysine 79 within a tissue-specific chromatin domain.. J Biol Chem 278:18346-18352, 2003 Abstract
Ema M, Faloon P, Zhang WJ, Hirashima M, Reid T, Stanford WL, Orkin S, Choi K, Rossant J..Combinatorial effects of Flk1 and Tal1 on vascular and hematopoietic development in the mouse.. Genes Dev 17:380-393, 2003 Abstract
Zhang WJ, Chung YS, Eades B, Choi K.. Gene targeting strategies for the isolation of hematopoietic and endothelial precursors from differentiated ES cells.. Methods Enzymol 365:186-202, 2003 Abstract
Chung YS, Zhang WJ, Arentson E, Kingsley PD, Palis J, Choi K.. Lineage analysis of the hemangioblast as defined by Flk-1 and SCL expression.. Development 129:5511-5520, 2002 Abstract
Arentson E, Faloon P, Seo J, Moon E, Studts JM, Fremont DH, Choi K.. Oncogenic potential of the DNA replication licensing protein CDT1.. Oncogene 21:1150-1158, 2002 Abstract
Faloon P, Arentson E, Kazarov A, Deng CX, Porcher C, Orkin S, Choi K.. Basic fibroblast growth factor positively regulates hematopoietic development.. Development 127:1931-1941, 2000 Abstract

Randi Lee

Lab Phone: 314-362-9045
Office Location: BJC-IH Building, Room 8215