PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2002
MD, Peking University Health Sciences Center, 1997
Protein and RNA Homeostasis in Neurodegeneration
Neurodegeneration is a poorly understood biomedical phenomenon and a major public health challenge in our increasingly aging society. Our work on an inherited form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which is caused by mutations in SOD1, has shown that protein misfolding may play a central role in the degeneration of motor neurons. In addition to protein quality control, RNA metabolism is another theme implicate in neurodegenerative diseases. It has become clear that further elucidation of the mechanisms of protein quality control and RNA homeostasis will be critical for understanding not just ALS but also other neurodegenerative diseases. Our goal is to describe at the molecular and cellular levels how protein quality control and RNA homeostasis operate in the cell, why protective systems fail at disease stages, and what could constitute effective interventions.
New discoveries of disease genes, such as C9orf72, TDP-43, and FUS, are accelerating our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of neurodegeneration. We use molecular and cellular, genetic, and biochemical approaches to elucidate how these genes function normally and how mutations lead to disease. The elucidation may ultimately lead to better treatments of these devastating diseases.
Positions for graduate students/postdoctoral fellows/visiting scholars are available. Please send a CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.