Contact Information

(267) 519-4659
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Weiwei Lei


Research Associate, Monell Chemical Senses Center

Laboratory of

Dr. Peihua Jiang


Ph.D., Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology; Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Research Summary

My current research focuses on two parts. The first is focused on the sweet taste receptor T1R2/T1R3, a heteromer comprising two G-protein coupled receptors T1R2 and T1R3. I am interested in the activation process and biochemical modification of the T1R2/T1R3 receptor in response to a wide range of sweeteners. The second part is the role of LGR5-expressing adult taste stem/progenitor cells in taste bud cell renewal. We have notified that taste stem cells are marked by LGR5 in posterior tongue. However, it remains unanswered if LGR5-expressing cells are the only stem cells in this tissue or if there is another pool of stem cells that can also regenerate taste bud cells. For instance, there are two principal stem cell pools in intestinal epithelium: LGR5+ stem cells and Bmi+ stem cells. We want to test whether Bmi+ stem cell also exist in taste stem cells.


taste receptors, taste stem cells, LGR5, Bmi