Xinyu Zhao, PHD

Position title: Professor, Neuroscience / Waisman Center

Email: xinyu.zhao@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-890-0173

Organ System/Disease Focus:
Neurodevelopmental disorders, Autism, fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome
Aligned Research Focus:
Mammalian neural stem cells, Gene regulation of neurogenesis, human stem cell for disease modeling
Xinyu Zhao headshot

Pubmed

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Research Description:

The research in our laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate neuronal development. We are particularly interested in two aspects of gene expression regulation: epigenetic mechanisms through chromatin remodeling and noncoding RNAs and post-transcriptional regulation through RNA binding proteins. We use mouse genetics, primary neural stem cells (NSC), and human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC, hESC), as well as CRISPR gene editing-created genetic mutant and gene-corrected mouse lines and human cells as model systems in our research. We employ a combination of genetic, genomic, proteomic, imaging, and behavioral methods to interrogate the fundamental relationships among gene, brain, and behaviors in neuronal development and their implications in human neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Fragile X Syndrome,  Autism, and Rett syndrome.

Selected References:
  • Shen M, Wang F, Li M, Sah N., Stockton ME, Tidei JJ, Gao Y, KorabelnikovT, Kannan S, Vevea JD, Chapman ER, Bhattacharyya A, and Zhao X.  Reduced mitochondrial fusion and Huntingtin levels contribute to impaired dendritic maturation and behavioral deficits in Fmr1 mutant mice.  Nature Neuroscience (2019)   Link to the article (here): News about our article (here) and (here
  • Liu B*, Li Y*, (*equal contribution), Stackpole, Novak A, Gao Y, Zhao Y, Zhao X#, Richter JD# (#co-correspondence).  Regulatory Discrimination of mRNAs by FMRP Controls Mouse Adult Neural Stem Cell Differentiation” PNAS 2018
  • Li Y, Stockton ME, Eisinger BE, Zhao Y, Miller JL, Bhuiyan I, Gao Y, Wu Z, Peng J, Zhao X.Reducing histone acetylation rescues cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Fragile X syndrome. Nat Commun. 2018 Jun 27;9(1):2494. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04869-3.PMID:29950602
  • Li Y, Stockton ME, Bhuiyan I, Eisinger BE, Yu Gao Y, Bhattacharyya A, and Zhao, X. MDM2 Inhibition rescues neurogenic and cognitive deficits in fragile X mice Science Translational Medicine April 27 2016. (see news release April 27, 2016)
  • Guo W, Allan AM, Zong R, Zhang L, Johnson EB, Schaller EG, Murthy A, Goggin SL, Eisch AJ, Oostra BA, Nelson DL, Jin P, and Zhao, X. Selective deletion of FMRP in adult neural stem cells disrupts hippocampal neurogenesis and learning Nature Medicine 17(5):559-65. PMID: 21516088.