Position title: Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Biology
Phone: (608) 262-3336
Ph.D. in Genetics and Neurobiology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Postdoctoral in Genetics and Neurobiology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Postdoctoral in Genetics and Neurobiology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
As a postdoc in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Sternberg at Caltech, I continued to study neurogenetics but switched my research focus to sleep regulation in C. elegans and genetic tool development. I learned single–cell RNA–seq of individual neurons and identified several novel sleep regulators, including neuropeptides. I developed genetic tools for precise transgene control and efficient genome editing, which are valuable for the C. elegans community. I also developed an efficient and clone–free CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing strategy to generate null mutants for any gene in C. elegans.
My lab is interested in studying how the brain controls behaviors. Our current focus is to understand sleep. Despite being an evolutionarily conserved behavior, sleep remains one of the most intriguing mysteries in biology. We use C. elegans as a model system and exploit its advantages (powerful genetics, optical transparency, and a small nervous system with well-defined anatomical connectivity) to understand the molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms underlying sleep. We take an integrative approach by combining classic molecular and genetic tools with state-of-the-art techniques, such as optogenetics, in vivo live imaging, genome editing, and next generation sequencing. In parallel, we also develop novel genetic tools to precisely control transgene expression and manipulate gene activity.
Research Key Words:
Neuroscience, Genetics, C. elegans, Sleep, Behavior Control