Michael Tsang, Ph.D.

  • Professor

Research in Dr. Tsang’s lab has focused on the role of Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) signaling in zebrafish development. Dr. Tsang’s research previously identified and characterized a number of genes involved in modulating Ras/MAPK signaling. More recently, his lab has focused on chemical biology studies with the use of zebrafish for high throughput whole organism drug screens. For these studies, a transgenic zebrafish line was generated to detect active FGF signaling. Using this approach in a whole organism screen, BCI was identified as a small molecule inhibitor of Dual Specificity Phosphatase 6 (Dusp6), a protein involved in attenuating Ras/MAPK signaling. BCI was shown to be an allosteric inhibitor of Dusp6 and to enhance adult heart regeneration in zebrafish. 

Another area of research in Dr. Tsang’s lab is using zebrafish as a model for human congenital heart disease and in understanding the early events that establish left-right patterning. 

Education & Training

  • BSc. (Hons) Pharmacology, University College Dublin, Ireland 1988-1992
  • Ph.D. in Pharmacology, University College Dublin, Ireland 1992-1996
  • Post-Doctoral Training, NICHD/NIH, Bethesda, MD. USA. 1997-2004

Representative Publications

Vertebrate myosin 1d regulates left-right organizer morphogenesis and laterality.
Saydmohammed M, Yagi H, Calderon M, Clark MJ, Feinstein T, Sun M, Stolz DB, Watkins SC, Amack JD, Lo CW, Tsang M.
Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 23;9(1):3381.
Dusp6 attenuates Ras/MAPK signaling to limit zebrafish heart regeneration.
Missinato MA, Saydmohammed M, Zuppo DA, Rao KS, Opie GW, Kühn B, Tsang M.
Development. 2018 Mar 6;145(5). 
Genetic Code Expansion in Zebrafish Embryos and Its Application to Optical Control of Cell Signaling.
Liu J, Hemphill J, Samanta S, Tsang M, Deiters A.
J Am Chem Soc. 2017 Jul 12;139(27):9100-9103
The complex genetics of hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Liu X, Yagi H, Saeed S, Bais AS, Gabriel GC, Chen Z, Peterson KA, Li Y, Schwartz MC, Reynolds WT, Saydmohammed M, Gibbs B, Wu Y, Devine W, Chatterjee B, Klena NT, Kostka D, de Mesy Bentley KL, Ganapathiraju MK, Dexheimer P, Leatherbury L, Khalifa O, Bhagat A, Zahid M, Pu W, Watkins S, Grossfeld P, Murray SA, Porter GA Jr, Tsang M, Martin LJ, Benson DW, Aronow BJ, Lo CW.
Nat Genet. 2017 Jul;49(7):1152-1159. 
A genetically targetable near-infrared photosensitizer.
He J, Wang Y, Missinato MA, Onuoha E, Perkins LA, Watkins SC, St Croix CM, Tsang M, Bruchez MP.
Nat Methods. 2016 Mar;13(3):263-8
Extracellular component hyaluronic acid and its receptor Hmmr are required for epicardial EMT during heart regeneration.
Missinato MA, Tobita K, Romano N, Carroll JA, Tsang M.
Cardiovasc Res. 2015 Sep 1;107(4):487-98
Zebrafish chemical screening reveals an inhibitor of Dusp6 that expands cardiac cell lineages.
Molina G, Vogt A, Bakan A, Dai W, Queiroz de Oliveira P, Znosko W, Smithgall TE, Bahar I, Lazo JS, Day BW, Tsang M.
Nat Chem Biol. 2009 Sep;5(9):680-7.
Generation of FGF reporter transgenic zebrafish and their utility in chemical screens.
Molina GA, Watkins SC, Tsang M.
BMC Dev Biol. 2007 Jun 6;7:62.
A role for MKP3 in axial patterning of the zebrafish embryo.
Tsang M, Maegawa S, Kiang A, Habas R, Weinberg E, Dawid IB.
Development. 2004 Jun;131(12):2769-79. 
Identification of Sef, a novel modulator of FGF signalling.
Tsang M, Friesel R, Kudoh T, Dawid IB.
Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Feb;4(2):165-9.