- Postdoctoral Fellow, Neurodegeneration, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.
- Ph.D., Neuroscience/Zoology, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho
- M.S., Zoology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China
- B.S., Biology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China
- Associate Professor, Basic Biomedical Sciences
- USD Sanford School of Medicine
Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder cuased by an abnormal expansion of CAG repeats in exon 1 of the huntingtin (Htt) gene. At present there is no effective therapy that can either prevent HD or slow the progress of this disorder. Our research is aimed at understanding the pathologies of HD and identifying therapeutic targets for the treatment of this disorder. In addition to in vivo studies, we have recently generated a neuronal cell model of HD, which reproduces all major neuropathological characteristics of HD. With this in vitro model system, the student will have an opportunity to employ cell biological, biochemical, as well as molecular genetics tools to examine the cellular and/or molecular alterations caused by expression of the mutant Htt gene and further identify which alterations are important in determining neuronal survival and death in HD.