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Colleen Wu, PhD

Colleen Wu, PhD
Assistant Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery

Cells reside in specialized microenvironments or niches that profoundly influence cellular function. Therefore, elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern the interactions between the niche its cellular constituents is critical for understanding tissue development and function. Using a combination of in vivo mouse models and in vitro cell culture systems, our lab studies how low oxygen tension (hypoxia), in the bone microenvironment influences bone homeostasis, hematopoietic development, and metastatic bone colonization.  Our ultimate goal is to develop novel therapeutic strategies to protect against aging associated disorders of the bone and to prevent metastatic dissemination to the bone. 

Current Projects

  • To determine how hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) signaling within the perivascular niche of the bone microenvironment contributes to mesenchymal stem cell fate determination and hematopoietic homeostasis.
  • To determine how the dynamic hypoxic bone microenvironment influences adipogenesis to promote metastatic colonization of the bone.

Selected Publications & Grants




The Wu lab is seeking motivated graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and laboratory research assistants to join our lab.  Individuals interested in becoming members of our research team should contact Colleen Wu directly.


Levine Science Research Center
450 Research Drive
Room B329
Durham, NC 27710