Cell & Neurobiology, Molecular Pharmacology & Toxicology
Keck School of Medicine
School of Pharmacy
My research objectives are to understand the roles of neurotransmitters on gene expression, signal transduction and ultimately behaviors. We are currently using DNA chips, proteomics and bioinformatic approaches to study the role of serotonin and dopamine in neuronal development, regulation of transcription factors in a series of monoamine oxidase (MAO) gene knock-out and transgenic mice, which exhibit different behaviors including anxiety, aggression and irregular heart-rate under stress. This information will be linked to human databases and help identify polymorphism and SNP in genes related to mental disorders such as bipolar depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.. These studies will not only provide new knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of brain functions but also help us understand the molecular basis of mental disorders. The new information obtained will be useful for designing novel therapeutic agents and early diagnosis of these diseases.