ResearchThrough many years of research on embryonic and adult neural stem cells (NSC), mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), and pathological conditions including Rett Syndrome, a neural developmental disorder, also an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), neurodegenerative disorders including ALS, PD, and AD, as well as traumatic CNS injury such as spinal cord injury (SCI), we realized that neural inflammation plays a pivotal role in pathogenesis of all of the aforementioned pathological conditions. We postulate that the fundamental underlying logic for Neural Repair could be through establishment of non-inflammatory and neural trophic CNS microenvironment via small/macro molecules, biomaterials, exosomes, or stem cells, and etc., to enable residual neurons to exert plasticity to compensate functions of damaged neural circuits, or to allow NSC, endogenous or exogenous, to produce new neurons, forming nascent relay network to integrate into broken circuits to resume neural function via neural plasticity. To make neural repair feasible, we initiated large-scale single cell RNA-sequencing to capture the “souls/features” of each cell including NSC/MSC or cell types to establish a “Tool Cell Atlas/Dictionary”. Subsequently, through our “Cell Convertor” program, we aim to achieve reprogramming of available human autologous cells into desired therapeutic cells to improve the microenvironment for CNS repair or to replace damaged neurons. Lastly, we take system biology-based approaches to study cross interactions amongst “gut-circulation immunity-CNS immunity-Neuronal function”. We initiated single cell transcriptome-based immune typing of individuals with different age, gender, and pathological conditions, aiming at targeting CNS diseases via the periphery, including reprograming monocytes into therapeutic cells.
2022-present, Principal Investigator, The Brain Cognition and Brain Disease Institute of Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2022-present, Chair Professor, School of Life and Health Sciences at the University of Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
2009-2022, Chair, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine at Tongji University
2012-2020, Professor (with tenure), Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences/Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
2007-2012, Associate Professor (with tenure), Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences/Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
2001-2007, Assistant Professor (tenure track), Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences/Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
1996-2001, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
1990-1996, Ph.D. Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University
1983-1987, B.S. Biochemistry, Fudan University
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