Scientist, Regenerative Medicine Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The discovery of adult neural stem cells residing in the mammalian brain holds great promise for treating devastating brain diseases like stroke. The main focus of the laboratory research is delineating molecular mechanisms that regulate proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells (including both embryonic and adult neural stem cells), with the ultimate goal of defining ways to recruit the stem cells that are resident in the brains of children and adults, and to thereby potentially promote neural repair. We use stroke as a brain disease model to study whether molecular pathways that regulate the recruitment of neural stem cells under pathological conditions could be modulated and utilized to promote brain repair and stroke recovery. A variety of molecular, cellular, and behavioral techniques are used in the laboratory to elucidate novel molecular pathways that regulate neural stem cell behaviors, including transgenic mouse models, neurosphere culture, in utero electroporation and in vivo viral-mediated gene delivery approach. The ongoing project in the lab is defining upstream mediators and downstream effectors of the aPKC-CBP pathway in the regulation of adult neural stem cell behaviors under both physiological and pathological conditions.
Dr. Jing Wang received her Bachelor of Medicine in China and then came to Canada for her graduate studies. She obtained her M.Sc. in Physiology at McGill University and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. She recently completed her post-doctoral training with Dr. Freda Miller at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and then joined OHRI as a scientist and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa. Her recently published work in Cell Stem Cell discovered that a widely-used human diabetes drug, metformin, is able to promote neurogenesis and improve the spatial learning ability of adult mice.
Fatt, M*, Hsu, K*, He, L, Wondisford, F, Miller, FD, Kaplan, DR, Wang, J. (2015) Metformin acts on two different molecular pathways to enhance adult neural precursor proliferation/self-renewal and differentiation, Stem Cell Reports 5: 1-8 (* equal contribution)
Tsui D, Voronova A, Gallagher D, Kaplan DR, Miller FD, Wang J. (2014 Jan 15) CBP regulates the differentiation of interneurons from ventral forebrain neural precursors during murine development. Dev Biol. 385(2):230-41.
Wang J; Gallagher D; DeVito LM; Cancino GI; Tsui D; He L; Keller GM; Frankland
PW; Kaplan DR; Miller FD. (2012 Jul 6), Metformin activates an atypical PKC-CBP pathway to promote neurogenesis and enhance spatial memory formation, Cell Stem Cell.11 (1):23-35.
Wang J: Weaver IC; Gauthier-Fisher A; Wang H; He L; Yeomans J; Wondisford F;
Kaplan DR; Miller FD. (2010 Jan 19), CBP histone acetyltransferase activity regulates embryonic neural differentiation in the normal and Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome brain. Dev