The long-term goals of Dr. Wong's research are to develop a translational research program that spans the bench and the clinic to understand the molecular, cellular and circuit bases of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, particularly those comorbid with metabolic disorders. Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic consequences of obesity are associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety and dementia. The ongoing focus on Dr. Wong's lab include: Characterization of novel biomarkers in major depression and the role of specific genes or pathways in depression, including the inflammasome signaling, epigenetic markers, alternative splicing, and the gut microbiome.
We have 4 current projects:
1) To determine the specific role(s) of PHF21B (plant homeodomain finger protein 21B) in neuronal function relevant to social recognition impairment; this is relevant because social cognitive impairments are a central feature of several neurodegenerative, neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental (e.g., autism spectrum and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) conditions, and also occur following acute brain damage after traumatic brain injury and stroke.
2) A innovative research line focused on investigating the interface between neuroinflammation and serotonin signaling in chronic stress.
3) A line of research focusing on the role of pre-mRNA splicing in the pathophysiology of chronic stress.
4) A line of research focused on the role of alternative splicing in the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and aging.