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Junfang Wu, BM, PhD

Neuroinflammation and Neuroprotection Following CNS Trauma

Dr. Wu’s laboratory studies secondary injury processes following traumatic spinal cord and brain injury (SCI/TBI) and pharmacological/gene therapeutic interventions for CNS trauma. Specifically, we focus on: (1) Elucidating molecular mechanisms responsible for SCI-induced brain neuroinflammation. This may lead to effective therapeutic interventions that limit post-SCI cognitive impairment and depression; (2) Demonstrating the function and the mechanisms of autophagy-lysosomal pathway and specific microRNAs in neuronal injury after SCI which could open a potential novel treatment avenue against SCI as well as identifying candidate molecular targets for these manipulations; (3) Identifying the genetic and genomic factors that impact SCI-PAIN as well as identifying new therapeutic targets to reduce or eliminate SCI-PAIN, including a truncated isoform of the BDNF receptor tropomyosin-related kinase B (trkB), trkB.T1, and NADPH oxidase pathways; (4) Examining the function and mechanism of voltage-gated proton channels Hv1 on neuroinflammation and neuropathic pain after experimental SCI and TBI. My ultimate goal is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanism of functional recovery after CNS trauma and also to develop potential therapeutic strategies.

Active Grants

NIH R01 2NR013601 
Spinal Mechanisms Underlying SCI-Induced Pain: Implications for Targeted Therapy
Susan Dorsey/Alan Faden (MPI)
Role: PD/PI
2017 - 2022
NIH R01 NS094527
The Function and Mechanisms of Autophagy in Spinal Cord Injury
Role: PI
2016 - 2021
Anesthesiology Faculty Pilot Fund
The role of extracellular microRNA in sepsis-induced encephalophathy 
Lin Zou (MPI) 
Role: PI
2018 - 2019
MPower Seed Grant
Physiologically Informed Engineering of Therapeutic Exosomes for Spinal Cord Injury Repair
Steven Jay (MPI)
Role: PI
2017 - 2019
Craig H. Nielson Foundation Research (340442)
Cell Cycle Pathway Mediates SCI-induced Cognitive Impairment and Depression
Alan Faden (PI)
Role: Co-Investigator
2015 - 2018