Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory


Xiaohong Li, MD, PhD, Head

[email protected]

The Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory studies the cellular/molecular mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of autism. Our current research activities focus on studying the role of several signal transduction pathways, including the MAPK, a- and ß-catenin, and mTOR pathways in the development of autism. Using BTBR mice and fragile X knock-out mice as animal models, we investigate whether the abnormal regulation of these pathways could be involved in the pathogenesis of autism. These studies involve the identification and validation of therapeutic targets. Our laboratory is also dedicated to identifying molecular markers that could lead to the early diagnosis of autism by studying the methylation and hydroxymethylation of specific genes in autism.