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Wallace S. Chick, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


      Ph.D., University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong - 1998

Postdoctoral Training:

      Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Mammalian Genetic and Genomic Section, Oak Ridge, TN.

Stem Cells and Aging

Our lab is interested in discovering novel genes that improve the life span and health span of humans, using mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells as a tool.

Over the last 20 years, extensive evidence has been demonstrating a close relationship between increased resistance to stress and extended life span. By selecting the stress-resistance trait, mutants in several invertebrate species that are long-lived were isolated. We are interested in using a mouse model to dissect genetic pathway that modulate the health span and life span of human. To do that, our lab has pioneered a novel forward genetic technology to create and isolate mouse mutants that are stress-resistant: we screen mutagenized mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells for stress resistance and then assay the effects of the respective mutations on healthspan and lifespan in derived mouse lines. These studies will extend to a mammalian system an unbiased genetic strategy that has been used to great advantage with invertebrate model organisms and should provide novel insights about molecular pathways that govern mammalian stress resistance and aging. The newly identified longevity genes (some of them may be specific to mammal) would be valuable candidates for therapeutic development for life and health extension. Furthermore, the stress resistant ES cells could potentially be utilized as a cell-based therapeutic to slow aging or reverse the aging characteristic of our body.

Selected Publications:

      Grybko, M.J., Hahm, E., Perrine, W., Parnes, J.A., Chick, W.S., Sharma, G., Finger, T.E., and Vijayaraghavan, S. (2011) A transgenic mouse model reveals fast nicotinic transmission in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Eur J Neurosci. 33: 1786-98

      Bilousova, G., Hyun, J.D., King, K.B., Delanghe, S., Chick, W.S., Torchia, E.C., Chow, K.S., Klemm, D.J., Roop, D.R., and Majka, S.M. (2011) Osteoblasts Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Calcified Structures in Scaffolds both in vitro and in vivo. Stem Cells 29(2): 206-16.

      Hegg, C.C., Jia, C., Chick, W.S., Restrepo, D., and Hansen, A. (2010) Microvillous cells expressing IP3R3 in the olfactory epithelium of mice. Eur J Neurosci. 32(10): 1632-45

      Chick, W.S., Drechsel, D.A., Hammond, W., Patel, M., and Johnson, T.E. (2009) Transmission of mutant phenotypes from ES cells to adult mice. Mamm Genome 20(11-12): 734-740

      Ji, S., You, Y., Kerner, J., Hoppel, C.L., Schoeb, T.R., Chick, W.S., Hamm, D.A., and Wood, P.A. (2007) Homozygous carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1b (muscle isoform) deficiency is lethal in the mouse. Mol. Genet. Metab. 93(3): 314-22. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

      Chick, W.S., Mentzer, S.E., Carpenter, D.A., Rinchik, E.M., Johnson, D., and You, Y. (2005) X-ray induced deletion complexes in embryonic stem cells on mouse chromosome 15. Mamm. Genome 16(9): 661-671.

      Chick, W.S., Mentzer. S.E., Carpenter, D.A., Rinchik, E.M., and You, Y. (2004) Modification of an existing chromosomal inversion to engineer a balancer for mouse chromosome 15. Genetics 167: 889-895.