I joined PKUSZ in Dec 2013. I earned his B.Sc. from University of Pittsburgh and Ph.D. from State University of New York at Stony Brook (with Dr. Paul Adams, FRS). After postdoctoral training with Drs. Roger Nicoll (UCSF) and Mu-Ming Poo (UC Berkeley), I joined the faculty of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and then research staff at Genentech. I believe that now it is the right time to translate our vast knowledge about the brain into fruitful treatments for disorders of the nervous system. Treating neural diseases is a daunting task and cannot be accomplished by individuals or a few academic laboratories. It takes many talented, devoted scientists from many disciplinary working together in a highly coordinated and collaborative manner, and it also requires a great supporting system. This is why I was drawn to PKUSZ since I believe it is the best place to do great science and translate scientific discoveries to medicine for unmet medical needs.
Our primary focus is to understand the biological basis of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease) and psychiatric disorders (such as depression, schizophrenia and autism), and in doing so identify new drug targets. We are especially interested how synaptic connection/plasticity and neural network functions are altered in these diseases. We believe by focusing on these areas we can have a much deeper understanding of the basic function of the brain, the genesis of brain pathology and a breakthrough in how we treat brain diseases. We are also quite interested in how Chinese herbal medicine may contribute to treating brain diseases and by identifying effective components we will push forward the modernization of Chinese medicine. We are using a variety of experimental approaches, including electrophysiology, fluorescence imaging, molecular and biochemistry approaches.
To us, human brain is the final frontier. Although knowing how a normal brain works is extremely satisfying, being able to treat a diseased brain is the ultimate prize. To crack a brain disease, we need to think and work like a brain, highly creative, interactive, supportive of each other, and all for the benefits of fellow human beings. I am excited about working with highly motivated and talented colleagues in the race for a cure.