Ping Wu, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, & Anatomy, UTMB Health, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA
My laboratory has been interested in both basic science research and translational research in the field of neuroscience. Particularly we focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of plasticity, multipotential and trophic factor secretion of neural stem cells (NSCs); as well as applications of NSCs to model and treat neurological diseases.
To learn the biology of human and rodent NSCs, we focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying fate specification of NSCs, and develop novel strategies to guide them to generate specific types of neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes.To model neural diseases, we are interested in applying both human and rodent NSCs and their differentiated neural cells to mimic traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, alcohol and cocaine abuse, neural infection (such as Zika virus, henipavirus, and HIV), and neurodegenerative diseases such ALS. Specific efforts are also devoted to learn the interaction between NSCs and other types of cells in a microenvironment.
To treat neural diseases, we use NSCs to screen potential drugs to protect human neurons. We also develop novel strategies to transplant exogenous NSC-differentiated neuronal cells into traumatically injured or degenerated brains and spinal cords, as well as to mobilize endogenous NSCs to replace lost neurons in a cell specific manner.
The outcome of our studies will provide insights towards development of stem cell-related therapy to treat neurological diseases like ALS, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, neuroinfection and addiction.