Dr. Li-Fang (Jack) Chu



Assistant Professor

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fulltime

Canada Research Chair in Cellular Reprogramming

Research Chair

Full Member

Reproduction and Regenerative Medicine Research Group


Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Associate Member

McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: 403.210.7233


Office: HMRB408


Educational Background

BSc National Taiwan University,

PhD Baylor College of Medicine,


Dr. Chu received his PhD in cell and molecular biology from Baylor College of Medicine. His doctoral training focused on investigating the relationship between early embryogenesis and pluripotent states in vitro. As a postdoctoral fellow and scientist in Dr. James Thomson’s lab at the Morgridge Institute for Research (affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison) where he became interested in studying developmental timing. Dr. Chu joined the Department of Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine in August 2020 as an Assistant Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Foothills Campus). He currently holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Cellular Reprogramming. He is also affiliated with the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI). His research interests focus on using pluripotent stem cells modeling development and disease, and to identify novel therapeutic strategies for regenerative medicine. 


Areas of Research

Research / Scholarly Activities

The research interest of the Chu lab is to identify the principles governing temporal and spatial patterning in development and disease. Following fertilization, the early mammalian embryonic development process constitutes a rapid series of well-coordinated cellular events that are essential to set the organism’s body plan. During this process, the temporal and spatial coordination between multiple cell types and tissues is particularly important because the variation in the relative timing of these processes can have serious consequences for the health and well-being of an organism. The genetic and molecular basis of developmental timing is largely unknown and remains an enigma. To begin addressing these questions, we recently developed an in vitro segmentation clock model derived from human embryonic stem cells. Equipped with this novel system, we hope to understand how this developmental clock operates and how misregulation of the clock causes congenital vertebral malformation and identify novel therapeutic targets. We are also interested in a better understanding of early embryogenesis, cellular reprogramming, and disease modelling. We employ a combination of approaches to address these questions, including genetically engineered pluripotent stem cells, reprogramming, molecular biology, bulk and single-cell transcriptomics & bioinformatics, 3D organoids, real-time live-cell imaging, and animal models. 

Research Keywords
  • Stem Cells and Regenerative Biology
  • Cellular Reprogramming
  • Developmental Clock
  • Gene Oscillation
  • Gene Editing

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
VETM 422 Virology Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2023
VETM 702 Advanced Topics in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Winter 2022, Winter 2023, Winter 2024
VETM 324 Genetics and Molecular Biology Fall 2023
MDSC 609.02 Genes and Development Winter 2023


  • Tier II Canada Research Chair in Cellular Reprogramming, CIHR. 2021