Research

The BRC research focuses on brain disorders that severely impact public health and the society. Our current clinical projects emphasize on defining novel endophenotypes, searching for disease-associated genes, establishing disease models, and exploring pathogenic mechanis. The strength of our research lies in the genomic and brain imaging techniques established at NYMU and the vast clinical database and samples from our teaching hospitals. On the basic research end, we encourage dialogue between clinicians and researchers to find clinical significance of basic research. We incorporate basic and clinical researches and establish appropriate animal and behavioral models. By further understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of those disorders, we hope to provide better diagnosis, therapy and eventually control of these disorders.

BRC research projects are organized into four distinct yet complementary areas:  (1) Clinical Neuroscience, (2) Basic Neuroscience, (3) Cognitive Neuroscience, and (4) Biomedical Technologies.



Clinical Neuroscience
Headache:
Deciphering pathophysiology of migraine: using multi-dimensional approaches, including: clinical, genomic, bioinformatics, behavioral and neuroimaging studies. To identify potential pathogenic genes and key mechanisms in headache disorders to facilitate formulation of treatment strategies. To identify abnormal sensory threshold and its central correlation (i.e. functional connectivity) in headache disorders to gain better understanding in the pathophysiology behind.

Affective Disorder: Fast Antidepressant Efficacy and Central Mechanisms of Single Low-Dose Ketamine Injection in Treating Major Depression: a double-blind and randomized-controlled trial and image study. To investigate the effect of add-on ketamine on lifting depression in short duration (within hours or a couple of days) in treatment resistant depression (TRD) and its possible role in preventing suicide.

Human Brain Neuroplasticity: A genotype-endophenotype-phenotype study: genetic neuroimaging and multimodal neuroimaging for primary dysmenorrhea (PDM).

Hereditary neurological diseases: Identifying novel disease genes and rare mutations of hereditary neurological diseases by utilizing next generation sequencing technologies

Basic Neuroscience
Neural Development: To study roles and functions of Cdk12, Cdk13, Rab18, GNB4, and microtubule-associated proteins in the nervous system using transgenic mouse approaches, slice culture and cultured neuronal cells Development of a functional neuron

Neurodegeneration: Basic and translational research for neurodegenerative disease. To understand the pathophysiological mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, spinocerebellar ataxia and Huntington’s disease.

White Matter Damage: Neuroprotective mechanisms of white matter (WM) injuries and degeneration. To explain the pathophysiological mechanisms and develop therapeutic interventions of brain injuries with special focus on the neurovascular damage and neuroglia-mediated neuroinflammation in brain white matter.

Aging: Basic and translational research for aging. To understand the biology of aging at the cellular and molecular level by investigating the genetic, environmental, and pharmacological factors that influence the rate of aging and longevity in model organisms. And to gain mechanistic insights into the systemic regulation of aging for promoting a healthy lifespan and delaying aging in mammals.

Cognitive Neuroscience
Autism and Empathy: Novel applications of emotional mismatch negativity (eMMN) as a neural endophenotype for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). To investigate whether eMMN can be a biomarker to help early diagnosis of ASD and a reliable index to quantify the socio-communication deficits

Dyslexia and Decision-Making: The neurobiological basis of Chinese language and reading research, and the neurobiological basis of decision making. We are developing an interdisciplinary approach to understand Chinese language reading and decision making. Such approach involves combining knowledge systems and expertise from neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Once developed, we aim to provide further insights from neurobiological data into current theories in language, reading, and decision making.

Biomedical Technologies
MRI Platform: Integration of MRI and genetic analysis in neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. To aid in early diagnosis, clinical evaluation, treatment monitor, and prognosis prediction in neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders

Genome Platform: Bioinformatics analysis of neurological and psychological disorders. Integrate bio- and clinical information and establish the informatics platform for analyzing neurological and psychological diseases.

Sleep Analysis System: Development and applications of the new sleep staging system. To improve the current sleep staging system and to apply this advanced sleep staging system on individuals with insomnia.