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Li, Jianrong Professor, Neurobiology and Neuroimmunology, Veterinary Integrative Biosciences


The central goal of our research is to understand how oligodendroglial development and function in the mammalian central nervous system is regulated in health and disease. Specifically, we are interested in molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in oligodendrocyte damage/dysfunction in white matter injuries such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy and in aging-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Because in most CNS diseases, multiple cell types including neurons, glial cells and vascular cells are involved via complex interactions, we investigate, at the cellular and molecular level, the role of microglia and astrocytes in the process of oligodendrocyte development, differentiation and damage. We use a variety of methods including primary cell cultures and transgenic and knockout animals to elucidate cellular pathways mediating oligodendrocyte injury.

The second focus of our laboratory is to elucidate the signals that promote oligodendrocyte survival and regeneration/remyelination after injury, and to study cell-cell interactions that regulate remyelination. These studies should contribute significantly to our understanding of mechanisms of oligodendrocyte development and injury, and provide new clues for potential prevention and treatment of human white matter diseases.

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  • Professor