Zhen Huang, PhD
Associate Professor, Neurology
PhD, Harvard University
Department of Neuroscience
University of Wisconsin
1111 Highland Avenue
Room 5505 WIMR-II
Madison, Wisconsin 53705
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.
Santhosh D, Huang Z. (2016) A Tie2-driven BAC-TRAP transgenic line for in vivo endothelial gene profiling. Genesis. 54(3):136-45. doi: 10.1002/dvg.22923.
Ma S, Huang Z. (2015) Neural Regulation of CNS Angiogenesis During Development. Frontiers in Biology. 10(1):61-73..
Boularan C, Hwang IY, Kamenyeva O, Park C, Harrison K, Huang Z, Kehrl JH. (2015) B Lymphocyte-Specific Loss of Ric-8A Results in a Gα Protein Deficit and Severe Humoral Immunodeficiency. Journal of Immunology. 195(5):2090-102. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1500523.
Santhosh D, Huang Z. (2015) Regulation of the nascent brain vascular network by neural progenitors. Mechanisms of Development. 138 Pt 1:37-42. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2015.06.005.
Ma S, Kwon HJ, Johng H, Zang K, Huang Z. (2013) Radial glial neural progenitors regulate nascent brain vascular network stabilization via inhibition of Wnt signaling. PLoS Biology. 11(1):e1001469. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001469.