Department of Chemitry
Exposure to chronic stress and psychological trauma often lead to overactivity of the bod’s stress-response mechanism, which may result in onset of psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These neuropsychiatric disorders are largely associated with maladaptive changes in the neural circuits governing mood and cognition, which is followed by abnormalities in emotional and cognitive processing within interconnected brain regions. Our research interest focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying either the abnormal or the beneficial changes in the neural circuit for the onset or recovery of those mental illnesses. Our previous study contributed to better understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying the therapeutic delay of the serotonergic antidepressant over long-term administration more than several weeks. We aims to unraveling the following questions: How does chronic stress or psychological trauma influence on neuronal excitation within the mood-regulatory circuit?; which genes are regulated in each neuronal subtype and single cell in response to chronic stress or psychological trauma?; how do these genes alter the structural connectivity and electrophysiological feature of the neural circuit?; How does the interplay between multiple neural cells within the circuit, cooperate to mediate behavioral responses to chronic stress and therapeutic drugs? Our research was based not only on biochemical, molecular & cell biological techniques, but also on genetic, genomic, behavioral techniques for which we have built up strong expertise. Eventually, our study will help delineate the cell-type specific and further single cell-resolution mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, and will inform the development of advanced therapeutics with better outcomes.
Neuroadaptive changes of neural circuits in response to acute/chronic stress and psychological trauma
Monoaminergic control of hippocampal circuits during cognition and mood regulation
Maladaptive changes of monoamine system and its implication in the psychiatric disorders
Innate or stimulus-induced heterogeneity within the neural circuit at the cell-type and single-cell resolution
Transcriptomic / Translatomic landscape of the neural circuit with mental illness and healthy control