The research interests in my lab focus on neurological disorders and synaptic vesicle cycling. In the presynaptic nerve terminal, multiple types of neurotransmitter releases occur through different patterns of fusion between the synaptic vesicles and the plasma membrane, as a result of which the activity of the neural network is modulated, to varying degrees. In the meanwhile, through cyclic utilization of synaptic vesicles, neurotransmitters can be continuously released in a stable manner. Alterations in neurotransmitter release and synaptic vesicle cycling would lead to generation of synaptic plasticity. Using genetic approaches, whole-cell patch clamp recording and fluorescence imaging techniques, we aim to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic vesicle cycling and different patterns of neurotransmitter release.

Previous research has revealed deficiencies in synaptic physiology in a number of neuronal disorders. Induced pluripotent stem cell technology is a powerful and irreplaceable tool for research into complex multigenic diseases as the cells derived from the patients carry all the genetic information about the disease. Using this technology, we study the changes in synaptic functions in two complex neurological disorders, Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder, as well as the related mechanisms. Our long-term goal is to elucidate the pathogenesis of these two diseases.

Current Projects:
1.Investigate the pathogenesis of neurological disorders using the induced pluripotent stem cell technology
2.Study the mechanisms underlying neurotransmitter release and synaptic vesicle cycling in the presynaptic nerve terminal
3.Investigate synaptic plasticity in neurological disorders and neural network formation