Postdoctoral Fellow
Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School, 2012
Ohio State University, 2007

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

Force Sensing and Metabolism

The Wenzel Lab is focused on the role of biomechanical force generated by flow of fluids such as blood and lymph in determination of cellular fate, motility behaviors, and modulation of the immune system. We are particularly interested in cellular mechanisms which could be leveraged for treatment of patients with hematological disorders, immune dysfunction, and cancers. Our cancer research aims to identify new ways of preventing the spread of cancer by understanding how lymphatic flow and force in the tumor microenvironment modulate metastatic programs and the immune system. Our stem cell research seeks to support recovery of the immune system after cancer treatment and is centered on how blood flow regulates fate decisions and energy metabolism during hematopoietic stem cell specification. Our team employs principles of molecular genetics, cell biology, bioenergetics, microfabrication, and engineering to address these questions.


  • Gu Q, Yang X, Lv J, Zhang J, Xia B, Kim J, Wang R, Xiong F, Meng S, Clements TP, Tandon B, Wagner DS, Diaz MF, Wenzel PL, Miller YI, Traver D, Cooke JP, Li W, Zon LI, Chen K, Bai Y, & Fang L.  (2019).  AIBP-mediated Cholesterol Efflux Instructs Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cell Fate.  Science. 363(6431):1085-1088.
  • Lin Y, Kobayashi M, Mishra A, Hongyu G, Liu Y, Wenzel P, Davis B, Yoder MC, & Yoshimoto M. (2019).  Long-term engraftment of embryonic stem cell-derived B-1 progenitors supports hematopoietic stem cell-independent lymphopoiesis. Stem Cell Reports. 12(3):572-583.
  • Lee HJ, Ewere A, Diaz MF, & Wenzel PL. (2018). TAZ responds to fluid shear stress to regulate the cell cycle. Cell Cycle. 17(2): 147-153.
  • Diaz MF, Evans SM, Olson SD, Cox CS, & Wenzel PL. (2017). An Anti-inflammatory Co-culture Assay to Determine Efficacy of TNF-α Suppression by Biomechanically Induced Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Bio-Protocol. 7(16): e2513. doi: 10.21769/BioProtoc.2513.
  • Lee HJ, Diaz MF, Ewere A, Olson SD, Cox CS, & Wenzel PL. (2017). Focal adhesion kinase signaling regulates anti-inflammatory function of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells induced by biomechanical force. Cellular Signalling. 38:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2017.06.012.
  • Lee HJ, Diaz MF, Price KM, Ozuna JA, Zhang S, Sevick-Muraca EM, Hagan JP, & Wenzel PL. (2017). Fluid shear stress activates YAP1 to promote cancer cell motility. Nature Communications. 8:14122.  *****This work was featured in a news story at UTHealth:*****
    Recommended in F1000Prime for special significance in its field.
  • Diaz MF, Vaidya AB, Evans SM, Lee HJ, Aertker BM, Alexander AJ, Price KM, Ozuna JA, Liao GP, Aroom KR, Xue H, Gu L, Omichi R, Bedi S, Olson SD, Cox CS, & Wenzel PL. (2017). Biomechanical forces promote immune regulatory function of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells. Stem Cells. 35:1259-1272.
  • Kota DJ, Prabhakara KS, Toledano-Furman N, Bhattarai D, Chen Q, DiCarlo B, Smith P, Triolo F, Wenzel PL, Cox CS, & Olson SD. (2017).  Prostaglandin E2 correlates with therapeutic efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells in experimental traumatic brain injury. Stem Cells. 35:1416-1430.
  • Diaz MF, Li N, Lee HJ, Adamo L, Evans SM, Willey HE, Arora N, Torisawa Y, Vickers DA, Morris SA, Naveiras O, Murthy SK, Ingber DE, Daley GQ, García-Cardeña G, & Wenzel PL. (2015). Biomechanical Forces Promote Blood Development through Prostaglandin E2 and the cAMP-PKA Signaling Axis. J Experimental Medicine. 212:665-680.  *****This article was selected for journal cover art and accompanying commentary article.*****
  • Jang I-H, Lu Y-F, Zhao L, Wenzel PL, Kume T, Datta SM, Arora N, Guiu J, Lagha M, Kim PG, Schlaeger TM, Zon LI, Bigas A, Burns CE, & Daley GQ. (2015).  Notch1 acts via Foxc2 to induce specification of hemogenic endothelial cells during mouse and zebrafish embryo development. Blood.  125:1418-1426.
  • Li N, Diaz MF, & Wenzel PL. (2015). Application of Fluid Mechanical Force to Embryonic Sources of Hemogenic Endothelium and Hematopoietic Stem Cells. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1212:183-193.
  • Arora N, Wenzel PL, Ross S, Chou S, McKinney-Freeman SL, Yoshimoto M, Yoder MC, & Daley GQ. (2014). Effect of developmental stage of HSC and recipient on transplant outcomes. Developmental Cell. 29:621-628.
  • Lee HJ, Li N, Evans SE, Diaz MF, & Wenzel PL. (2013). Biomechanical force in blood development: extrinsic physical cues drive pro-hematopoietic signaling. Blood. 89:92-103.
  • Gustafsson K, Heffner G, Wenzel PL, Curran M, Grawe J, McKinney-Freeman SL, Daley GQ, & Welsh M. (2013). The Src homology 2 protein Shb promotes cell cycle progression in murine hematopoietic stem cells by regulation of focal adhesion kinase activity. Experimental Cell Research. 319:1852-1864.
  • Ouseph MM, Li J, Chen H-Z, Pécot T, Wenzel P, Thompson JC, Comstock G, Chokshi V, Byrne B, Forde B, Chong J-L, Huang K, Machiraju R, de Bruin A, & Leone G. (2012). Atypical E2F Repressors and Activators Coordinate Placental Development. Developmental Cell. 22:849-862.
  • Wenzel PL*, Chong J-L*, Saénz-Robles MT, Ferrey A, Hagan JP, Gomez YM, Sharma N, Chen H-Z, Robinson ML, & Leone G. (2011). Cell Proliferation in the Absence of E2F1-3. Developmental Biology. 351:35-45. *Equal contribution.
  • Chen D, Pacal M, Wenzel P, Knoepfler PS, Eisenman R, Leone G, & Bremner R. (2009). Division and apoptosis of E2F-deficient retinal progenitors. Nature. 462:925-929.
  • Chong J-L*, Wenzel PL*, Saénz-Robles MT*, Nair V, Ferrey A, Hagan JP, Gomez YM, Sharma N, Chen H-Z, Ouseph M, Wang S-H, Trikha P, Culp B, Mezache L, Winton DJ, Sansom OJ, Chen D, Bremner R, Cantalupo PG, Robinson ML, Pipas JM & Leone G. (2009). E2F1-3 switch from activators in progenitor cells to repressors in differentiating cells. Nature. 462:930-934. *Equal contribution.
  • Naveiras O, Nardi V*, Wenzel PL*, Hauschka PV, Fahey F, & Daley GQ. (2009). Bone marrow adipocytes as negative regulators of the hematopoietic microenvironment. Nature. 460:259-263. *Equal contribution.
  • Adamo L*, Naveiras O*, Wenzel PL, McKinney-Freeman S, Mack PJ, Gracia-Sancho J, Suchy-Dicey A, Yoshimoto M, Lensch MW, Yoder MC, García-Cardeña G, & Daley GQ. (2009). Biomechanical forces promote embryonic haematopoiesis. Nature. 459:1131-1135. *Equal contribution.