School of Medicine
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Yu Wei Wu
Bio I am interested in the neural circuits for motor control and how it is affected under the progression of Parkinson?s disease (PD). Currently I focus on dissecting the role of the striatal spiny projection neurons on integrating information from other brain areas, which are highly altered in PD. By incorporating various tools and state-of-the-art approaches, such as two-photon imaging/uncaging, patch-clamp electrophysiology, optogenetic manipulation of neural circuit and computational simulation, I aim to provide a comprehensive view, in the neuronal circuitry level, of how motor control is achieved and what goes wrong during the pathophysiological changes in PD, so that potential new therapeutic targets will be discovered to help PD patients.
My past training has quipped me with various research skills including:
1.Brain slice electrophysiology for studying ion channel physiology and synaptic transmission.
2.Two-photon calcium imaging for monitor subcellular neuronal activity in brain slices and in vivo.
3.Optics and microscopy development.
4.Computer programming for image processing, data analysis, and instrumental control.
5.Optogenetic techniques for controlling targeted neuronal circuits with transgenic mice and AAV viral injection.
6.Immunohistochemistry and biochemical essays.
These skills enable me not only to design and perform bench works independently but also capable to have a working model and a big picture in mind. I have a solid background in biology and neurophysiology, and my broad research skills further facilitate collaboration with experts from multidisciplinary. In summary, I have demonstrated a record for successfully completing research projects, and my strong motivation and substantial research skills have prepared me well to achieve my goal.
Professor (Research) of Neurosurgery
Current Research and Scholarly Interests My lab is focused on developing novel therapeutic methods against stroke using rodent models. We study protective effect of postconditioning, preconditioning and mild hypothermia. The rationale for studying three means of neuroprotection is that we may discover mechanisms that these treatments have in common. Conversely, if they have differing mechanisms, we will be able to offer more than one treatment for stroke and increase a patient’s chance for recovery.
J. Bradley Zuchero
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Glia are a frontier of neuroscience, and overwhelming evidence from the last decade shows that they are essential regulators of all aspects of the nervous system. The Zuchero Lab aims to uncover how glial cells regulate neural development and how their dysfunction contributes to diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and in injuries like stroke.
Although glia represent more than half of the cells in the human brain, fundamental questions remain to be answered. How do glia develop their highly specialized morphologies and interact with neurons to powerfully control form and function of the nervous system? How is this disrupted in neurodegenerative diseases and after injury? By bringing cutting-edge cell biology techniques to the study of glia, we aim to uncover how glia help sculpt and regulate the nervous system and test their potential as novel, untapped therapeutic targets for disease and injury.
We are particularly interested in myelin, the insulating sheath around neuronal axons that is lost in diseases like MS. How do oligodendrocytes- the glial cell that produces myelin in the central nervous system- form and remodel myelin, and why do they fail to regenerate myelin in disease? Our current projects aim to use cell biology and neuroscience approaches to answer these fundamental questions. Ultimately we hope our work will lead to much-needed therapies to promote remyelination in patients.