University of Wisconsin–Madison

Zhen Huang, PhD

Associate Professor, Neurology

Zhen Huang, PhD

PhD, Harvard University

Contact Information

Department of Neuroscience
University of Wisconsin
1111 Highland Avenue
Room 5505 WIMR-II
Madison, Wisconsin 53705
608.263.2469 Office
608.262.2469 Lab
z.huang@neurology.wisc.edu

Research Statement

My lab is interested in several aspects of the development of the cerebral cortex. We are interested in how the different levels of organization in the cortex, from global to cellular and synaptic organization and from neural to vascular patterning, arise during normal development and how they may be affected in and contribute to brain neural and vascular diseases. To investigate how the exquisite layer organization of the cortex arises, we focus on the question of how the generation and migration of neurons and glia are regulated. We employ mouse genetics approaches and use tissue specific gene knockout technology to answer this question. Among the genes of interest to us is a gene involved in G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling. We have found that mutation in this gene, ric-8a, which encodes a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for heterotrimeric G proteins, results in cobblestone lissencephaly-like malformation in the cerebral cortex as well as lobule formation defects in the cerebellum. One of our goals is to use this mutation as an entry point to gain new insights into mechanisms by which cell-cell communication coordinates the complex process of brain development.

Selected Publications