Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, & Anatomy
4.212B Research Building 17Route
: 0620 |
409-772-9858 | Fax
: (409) 747-2200 | email@example.com
Affiliations The Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative DiseasesMoody Neurorehabilitation InstituteCenter for Addiction Research
Education and Training
PhD in Neuroendocrinology, UTMB, Galveston, TX
Post-Doctoral in Molecular Neuroscience & Gene
Transfer, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainsville, FL
BM (equivalent to MD), Peking University, Beijing, China
My laboratory has been interested in both basic science
research and translational research in the field of neuroscience.
Particularly we focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of
plasticity, multipotential and trophic factor secretion of neural stem
cells (NSCs); as well as applications of NSCs to model and treat
To learn the biology of human and rodent NSCs, we focus
on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying fate specification of
NSCs, and develop novel strategies to guide them to generate specific
types of neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes.To model neural diseases, we are interested in applying
both human and rodent NSCs and their differentiated neural cells to
mimic traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, alcohol and cocaine abuse,
neural infection (such as Zika virus, henipavirus, and HIV), and
neurodegenerative diseases such ALS. Specific efforts are also devoted
to learn the interaction between NSCs and other types of cells in a
To treat neural diseases, we use NSCs to screen
potential drugs to protect human neurons. We also develop novel
strategies to transplant exogenous NSC-differentiated neuronal cells
into traumatically injured or degenerated brains and spinal cords, as
well as to mobilize endogenous NSCs to replace lost neurons in a cell
The outcome of our studies will provide insights towards
development of stem cell-related therapy to treat neurological
diseases like ALS, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury,
neuroinfection and addiction.
Wu, P. (corresponding author), Tarasenko, Y.I.,
Gu, Y., Huang, L.-Y., Coggeshall, R. and Yu, Y. Region-specific
generation of cholinergic neurons from fetal human neural stem cells
grafted in adult rat. Nat. Neurosci. 5(12):1271-1278, 2002.
Xu, Y., Gu, Y., Xu, G.Y., Wu, P., Li, G.-W. and
Huang L,-Y. Adeno-associated viral transfer of opioid receptor gene to
primary sensory neurons- a novel strategy to increase opioid
antinociception. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 100:6204-6209, 2003.
Gao, J., Coggeshall, R., Tarasenko, Y.I. and Wu, P.
Human neural stem cell-derived cholinergic neurons innervate muscle in
motoneuron deficient adult rats. Neurosc. 131:257-262 (Rapid Report),
Gao, J., Prough, D.S., McAdoo, D.J., Grady, J.J., Parsley, M.O., Ma, L., Tarasenko, Y.I. and Wu, P.
Transplantation of primed human fetal neural stem cells improves
cognitive function in rats after traumatic brain injury. Exp. Neurol.
201:281-92 (featured on the cover), 2006.
Tarasenko, Y.I., Nie, L., McAdoo, D.J., Johnson, K.M., Hulsebosch, C.E., Grady, J.J. and Wu, P.
Human fetal neural stem cells grafted into contusion-injured rat
spinal cord improve behavior. J. Neurosc. Res. 85:47-57, 2007.
Thonhoff, J.R., Lou, D.I., Jordan, P.M., Zhao, X. and Wu, P. Compatibility of human fetal neural stem cells with bioengineering hydrogels in vitro. Brain Res. 1187:42-51, 2008.
L., Gao, J., Hooten, K.G., Wang, E., Thonhoff, J.R., Gao, T. and Wu, P. Critical role of PI3K/Akt/GSK3beta in
motoneuron specification from human neural stem cells in
response to FGF2 and EGF. PLoS ONE 6:e23414, 2011.
E., Gao, J., Denner, L., Dunn, T., Parles, M., Zhang, L. and Wu, P. Molecular mechanisms underlying protective effects of
neural stem cells against traumatic axonal injury. J. Neurotrauma 29:295-312, 2012.
Barrows NJ, Campos RK, Powell S, Prasanth KR, Schott-Lerner G, Soto-Acosta R, Gaddiel Galarza-Muñoz1, McGrath EL, Urrabaz-Garza R, Gao J, Wu P, Menon R, Saade G, Fernandez-Salas I, Rossi SL, Vasilakis N, Routh A, Bradrick SS and Garcia-Blanco MA, 2016 A screen of FDA-approved drugs for inhibitors of Zika virus infection. Cell Host Microbe. 20:259-270 (PMID 27476412).
Gao J, Grill RJ, Dunn TJ, Bedi S, Hetz RA, Xue H, Thonhoff JR, DeWitt DS, Prough DS, Cox Jr CS, and Wu P, 2016 Human Neural Stem Cell Transplantation-Mediated Alteration of Microglial/Macrophage Phenotypes after Traumatic Brain Injury. Cell Transplantation 25:1863-1877 (PMID: 26980267).
McGrath EL, Rossi SL, Gao J, Widen S, Grant AC, Dunn TJ, Azar SR, Roundy CM, Xiong Y, Prusak DJ, Loucas BD, Wood T, Yu Y, Fernández-Salas I, Weaver SC, Vasilakis N and Wu P 2017 Differential responses of human fetal brain neural stem cells to Zika virus infection. Stem Cell Reports 8:715-27 (PMID: 28216147)(PMCID: 5355569)
McGrath EL, Gao J, Kuo YF, Dunn TJ, Dineley KT, Cunningham KA, Kaphalia BS, and Wu P, 2017 Spatial and sex-dependent responses of adult endogenous neural stem cells to alcohol consumption. Stem Cell Reports 9:1916-1930. (PMID: 29129682)
Dawes BE, Gao J, Atkins C, Nelson JT, Johnson K, Wu P, and Freiberg AN. 2018 Human neural stem cell-derived neuron/astrocyte co-cultures respond to La Crosse virus infection with proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. J Neuroinflammation 15:315. PMID: 30442185
Mitra J, Guerrero EN, Hegde PM, Liachko NF, Vasquez VM, Wang H, Gao J, Pandey A, Taylor JP, Kraemer BC, Wu P, Boldogh I, Garruto RM, Mitra S, Rao KS and Hegde ML 2019 Motor Neuron Disease-Associated Loss of Nuclear TDP-43 is Linked to DNA Double-Strand Break Repair Defects. Proc Nat Acad Sci 116:4696-4705. PMID: 30770445
Link to PubMed Publications