Neurotrauma such as brain or spinal cord injury leads to devastating and persistent neurological deficits. One of the major reasons for the limited functional recovery is the lack of successful axonal regeneration and rewiring.
In this CRF project, we aim to use a newly-established intracranial optic tract lesion model to study the functional reconnection. With a novel combination strategy to boost the intrinsic growth capacity of retinal ganglion cells, we will drive retinal axons to regenerate across the optic tract lesion site, reinnervate the target neurons in the brain, and restore the light reflex.
Our goal is to enhance the functional recovery and understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the robust axon regeneration and functional rewiring. Successful completion of this project will establish strategies to rebuild disconnected neural circuits after injuries within the brain, and help our understanding on the fundamental mechanisms that mediate functional reconnection after central nervous system injuries.
Enhancing neuronal activity by overexpressing melanopsin promotes the regeneration of retinal axons
- Cheng Associate Professor of Science
- Associate Professor, Division of Life Science
- Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
- Associate Director of HKUST-Nan Fung Life Sciences Joint Laboratory
- Associate Director of Laboratory Animal Facility
Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) developed a novel technology which allows genomic DNA and RNA sequencing to be carried out simultaneously in single cells of both frozen and fresh tissues, and identified rare brain tumor cell "spies" disguised as normal cells with this method. This breakthrough facilitates cancer research for some of the most complex and rare tumors, opening new directions for drug target discovery in the future.
The study of microRNAs (miRNAs), small RNAs that play important roles in gene regulation in animals and humans alike, have long been a topic of interest to many. How these miRNAs control and regulate gene expression, a subject of great importance in biology and medicine, is often believed to hold the keys to providing effective cures, or strategies, to different phenomenon and symptoms, such as cancer, a result of cell mutations.