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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 1NS110635-01 
Mechanism of Inflammatory-related Brain Dysfunction after Spinal Cord Injury
Alan Faden / Junfang Wu (MPI)
Role: PD/PI
2019 - 2024
NIH R01 NS110567
Targeting Brain Inflammation and Neurological Dysfunction in Sepsis
Wei Chao / Junfang Wu / Lin Zou (MPI)
Role: PD/PI
2019 - 2024
NIH R01 2NR013601 
Spinal Mechanisms Underlying SCI-Induced Pain: Implications for Targeted Therapy
Susan Dorsey / Junfang Wu / Alan Faden (MPI)
Role: PD/PI
2017 - 2022
NIH R01 NS094527
The Function and Mechanisms of Autophagy in Spinal Cord Injury
Junfang Wu (PI)
Role: PI
2016 - 2021
Anesthesiology Seed Fund
Role of extracellular vesicles/miRNA in myocardial ischemia and reperfusion injury
Se-Chan Kim / Junfang Wu (MPI)
Role: PD/PI                     
2019 - 2020
MPower Seed Grant
Physiologically Informed Engineering of Therapeutic Exosomes for Spinal Cord Injury Repair
Junfang Wu / 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