Kennedy Krieger Institute
United States of America
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Dr. Ying received his Ph.D. degree from Fudan University in China for research on neurodegenerative diseases. He completed post-doctoral research on Parkinson’s disease with Dr. Ted Dawson at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and most recently on transcriptional regulation of brain tumor stem cells with Dr. John Laterra at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. RESEARCH SUMMARY: Dr. Ying received his scientific training in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and brain tumors. His research interests focus on identifying new targets that regulate the self-renewal and differentiation of normal and malignant stem cells. He was first to show that mutant transcription factor, Atrophin-1, induces transcription deregulation and neurodegenerative phenotypes in a mouse model of Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy, which can be ameliorated by histone deacetylase inhibitor. As a postdoctoral fellow in Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Ying studied the molecular mechanism of neurodegenerative diseases and established a new mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. After joining the neuro-oncology laboratory in Kennedy Krieger Research Institute, Dr. Ying’s research has increasingly focused on the functions of multiple transcription factors in human brain tumor stem cells. Dr. Ying has published his research identifying a novel transcription factor, krupple-like factor 9, which can differentiate brain tumor stem cells, inhibit their tumor propagation, and inhibit Notch signaling in these cells. He has developed a transcription-factor-based differentiation strategy for efficiently generating functional and transplantable dopaminergic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells. His current research focuses on identifying transcription factors with potential applications in regenerative medicine and cancer therapeutics.