Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Dr. Fung is a child & adolescent psychiatrist with specialized clinical training in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and advanced research training in chemical engineering, neuropsychopharmacology, and neuroimaging. He has extensive work experience in pharmaceutical research and development, including the discovery and development of a GABA(A) receptor agonist for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety.
Working with his mentor Dr. Antonio Hardan, Dr. Fung serves as a co-investigator and co-protocol director of a current randomized controlled trial of pregnenolone in children and adolescents with ASD. Dr. Fung is interested in elucidating the mechanisms of action of pregnenolone and its related neurosteroids in the treatment of individuals with ASD.
In addition to pharmacologic treatment studies in ASD and other developmental disorders, he is also performing multimodal neuroimaging studies in these disorders. Dr. Fung employs state-of-the-art multimodal neuroimaging tools to study GABA neurophysiology in individuals with ASD, fragile X syndrome (FXS) and intellectual disability. He is the Principal Investigator of NIH-funded "GABAergic Neurophysiology in Autism Spectrum Disorder". Working with Dr. Fred Chin, he serves as a Co-investigator of "Cross-Species Multi-Modal Neuroimaging to Investigate GABA Physiology in Fragile X Syndrome".
His overarching goal is to dissect the neurobiology of ASD using a combination of bioanalytical, immunochemical, and multimodal imaging techniques to identify biomarkers based on specific molecular mechanisms that will inform targeted treatments for ASD.