We study the mechanisms of pediatric epileptic encephalopathy, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), and cardiac arrhythmia linked to mutations in voltage-gated sodium channel genes. Experimental models in our lab include transgenic mouse lines and human patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell neurons and cardiac myocytes.
Neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, Pharmacology, Cell Biology
We study the signaling mechanism that ensures genome stability during cell division, and its roles in tumorigenesis. Our approach is inter-disciplinary; it includes cell biology, imaging, biochemistry, and computational modeling.
Epigenetics, chromatin modifications, dosage compensation, embryology, and stem cell biology.
The focus of the research in my laboratory is the use of mouse models 1) to understand the mechanisms that lead to birth defects affecting caudal structures in humans, and 2) to understand the mechanisms by which telomere dysfunction causes distinct phenotypes in humans. Prior work in my laboratory has focused on genetically characterizing spontaneous mouse mutants as a platform to understand how disruption of key cellular and developmental processes can lead to structural birth defects and other diseases in humans.
Our laboratory studies the biology of prostate cancer skeletal metastases through a variety of methods. Our current work focuses on examining bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) that work through SMAD transcription factors, exploring a signal transduction factor that diminishes prostate cancer metastases, and investigating how interleukin-6 stimulates the androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells.
hematopoiesis; erythropoiesis; globin switching, secretory pathway, CRISPR screens
Studying the mechanism of nuclear pore complex formation in neurons and the role of torsinA with regards to nuclear pore biology
microbiome, structural biology, glycoside hydrolases, Bacteroides, starch
We use genomics and proteomics to study signaling networks regulating yeast cell growth, cell polarity and cell cycle progression. These networks serve as orthologous models of pathways relevant for: 1) fungal infections of immunocompromised individuals; 2) tumor cell metastasis; 3) cancer research.
Experimental research activities directed at understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cytokine networks that are operative in different immune/inflammatory reactions and host defenses represent the major research efforts in the laboratory.
Identify and examine the homeostatic regulation of mu-opioid receptor recycling and study its regulatory signaling pathway. Study and identify the cellular molecules required for opioid receptor trafficking and signaling in response to various neuropeptides.
Investigating the role of AMPylation on Hsp70 chaperones in Neurodegenerative Disease models
The rapid evolution of RNA viruses makes them particularly challenging targets for vaccines and antiviral drugs. However, a clearer understanding of their unique evolutionary dynamics may suggest novel approaches for control. Our research objective is to understand mechanisms of viral evolution as they relate to transmission and pathogenesis in infected hosts. We study aspects of evolutionary theory in the context of the host-pathogen interface using molecular virology, small animal models, and sequence data from clinical specimens.
Ischemic stroke, neurodegenerative disease, vascular biology of the CNS, fibrotic disease
Dr. Lei is on the steering committee of the NCI Cancer Moonshot Immuno-Oncology Translational Network. He is a recipient of the NIH Rising Stars award. His group pioneers at the identification of oncogenic suppressors of the innate immune system. Pattern Recognition Receptors (PPRs) constitute the first line of defense against “non-self” antigens such as tumor neoepitopes. With the characterization of new PRR families, such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs), NOD-like receptors (NLRs), RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs), and cGAS-STING-mediated cytoplasmic DNA-sensing molecules, novel regulatory...
Our laboratory focuses on the molecular and cellular basis of neural control of breathing, and how it goes awry in diseases. By molecular and genetic dissection of the breathing control circuit, we study the function of neural populations and pathways underlying breathing rhythms and behaviors, and the pathophysiology of diseases with breathing abnormality.
Mechanobiology and mechanotransduction, cell migration, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, cytoskeleton, bottom-up synthetic biology
stem cells, regeneration, gene therapy, cancer
The goals of our research program are to determine the molecular mechanisms by which extracellular signals regulate mesenchymal cell fate decisions, and to improve our understanding of adipocyte metabolism. Mesenchymal stem cells have the capacity to differentiate into a number of cell types, including adipocytes, osteoblasts and myocytes.
Interested in human ovarian folliculogenesis and fertility preservation
Investigating the function of paternally-inherited histones during early embryogenesis.
Developing a device to simultaneously measure NADH generation and oxygen consumption in mitochondria in order to investigate the role of metabolic intermediates in bioenergetics. The data collected will be used to develop a computer model of the system.
My research focuses on investigating Notch cofactors that may regulate Notch signaling in T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia