I’m a neuroscientist researching the molecular and cellular mechanisms of perinatal brain development and how their maladaptation causes developmental brain disorders. Our lab is using rodent models to investigate neonatal hydrocephalus's genetic and cellular etiologies to find possible new therapeutic targets to improve neurocognitive outcomes.
Neonatal brains undergo layers of developmental changes and have very plastic potentials. I’m fascinated by the vigorously coordinated growth of young neural cells and how precisely they can communicate with each other among the same and between different cell types. One of our discoveries is that the loss of motile cilia gene in rodent brains reduces cerebrospinal fluid flow and neonatal hydrocephalus with delayed neural cell maturation and neuroinflammation. Our pre-clinical trials in these animals suggest that medical treatment to suppress neuroinflammation via microglia can improve brain function, neuronal maturation and myelination in neonatal hydrocephalus.
I feel fortunate to be able to study the amazing roles and communications of neonatal brain cells to discover new treatments for patients with developmental brain disorders. With recent advancements in tools and technologies in molecular neurobiology, we can view individual brain cells so closely that we can see how they react and communicate precisely. I hope to bring discoveries leading to better clinical management of neonatal brain disorders, including hydrocephalus.
I am honored to be a McLaurin Neurosurgery Scholar (2021). I also received a Pediatric Neurosurgery award from Cincinnati Children’s (2015), an Innovator Award from the Hydrocephalus Association (2017) and a Trustee Award & Procter Scholar (TAPS) from Cincinnati Children’s (2015). I’ve been a researcher for over 20 years, and I began my work at Cincinnati Children’s in 2013.