Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
The research of Dr. Zhexing Wen’s laboratory centers on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, major depression and autism spectrum disorder. In particular, I am interesting in using patient-derived induced-pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to elucidate the biological functions of causal/risk genetic and environmental factors in neurological and psychiatric disorders, identify pathological developmental processes that may contribute to the etiology of these complex diseases, and translate such knowledge into therapeutic targets for developing novel treatments. To achieve these goals, our research employs a combination of cutting edge technologies, including human non-integrated iPSCs generation, genome editing, specific cell type differentiation, brain-region-specific 3-D organoids generation, as well as molecular biology, biochemistry, molecular/cellular imaging, electrophysiology, deep sequencing and bioinformatics, and high-throughput screening. It is our hope that our studies will bring novel mechanistic insight into these disorders and provide new therapeutic strategies for these devastating diseases that affect millions of people worldwide.