Microglial biology and neuro-immune interaction underlying brain structure and disease
Microglia and other related immune cells are increasingly recognized to be essential players in central nervous system function and almost all neurological diseases. As we gain more knowledge about microglial biology—one of the fastest growing fields at the nexus of neuroscience, immunology and hematopoiesis, numerous fundamental questions remain to be answered, such as: How is microglia fate specified? How do microglia develop? How heterogeneous are microglia? How do microglia age? How do microglia contribute to brain development, aging and neurodegenerative disease? My lab is broadly interested in neuroimmunology with a focus on microglial biology. We combine cutting-edge single-cell genomic technologies with in vitro and in vivo genetic, molecular and cellular tools to address these fundamental questions, which also have tremendous translational potential. The overarching goal is to gain a better understanding of microglial functions in the establishment of the nervous system, as well as how changes in these functions contribute to neurological diseases.