M.D., Ph.D., Shanxi Medical University
Taiyuan, Shanxi, P.R. China
alcohol dependence, NR2B gene regulation, epigenetic, drinking behavior, microRNA, transcription factors, laser capture microdissection
My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying nerve system disorders, such as alcohol dependence and behavioral disorders. One current study area is to understand the role of epigenetic regulations in mediating ethanol withdrawal-related adaptation of the NR2B gene through a combined approach of in vitro and in vivo studies. We have studied the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure and removal on DNA methylation and histone modifications using an in vitro cortical neuronal culture system and found that CIE induced a significant DNA demethylation, and an increase in histone acetylation in the NR2B gene promoter. The current focus is to extend this work by identifying the epigenetic regulators, such as MeCP2, that mediate ethanol withdrawal-related adaptation of the NR2B gene in ethanol dependent animals.
In addition, my studies also includes the role of mroRNA in modulating epigenetic regulation regarding ethanol withdrawal-induced neuroadaptation. Research strategies include primary neuronal and glial culture, qPCR and qPCR array, methylation assay, ChIP, lentiviral delivered RNA interference and laser capture microdissection.
Appointments, Boards, Committees and Memberships
Editorial Board Member - World Journal of Pharmacology - 2011-2015