Pei-Ken Hsu, PhD
|School||UCSF School of Medicine|
|Department||Howard Hughes Medical Instit|
|Address||1550 4th Street, Bldg 19B|
San Francisco CA 94158
|National Taiwan University||MS||Molecular and Cellular Biology||2005|
|National Taiwan University||BS||Zoology||2003|
I am interested in the fundamental processes underlying cognitive and behavioral control and how the imbalance of these processes contributes to behavioral abnormality and psychiatric disorders. Currently I focus on dissecting the mechanism of sleep regulation, including sleep onset/offset and sleep homeostasis. By incorporating diverse tools and innovative approaches, such as CRISPR genome-editting, whole-brain imaging and in vivo recording and manipulation tools, I aim to construct a comprehensive view of the spatial and temporal dynamic in the sleep-regulating neural circuits and understand how this dynamic controls the behavioral outcomes.
The lab also takes a complementary genetic approach to study sleep. Our past endeavors uncovered a wealth of genetic variants associated with genuine human sleep phenotypes, such as familial natural short sleep (FNSS) and familial advanced sleep phase (FASP). I have generated several etiologically valid mouse models accordingly. These new mouse models offer golden opportunities to elucidate the processes of sleep regulation. Careful examination at molecular, cellular, and systems levels will provide significant knowledge that will be particularly precious in designing pharmaceutical agents that improves sleep quality.
My past training and works were focusing on molecular genetics of developmental processes of C. elegans and pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Besides specific research topics, I also have strong interests and knowledge of human genetics, psychiatric disorders, cognitive neuroscience, regulatory RNA and synthetic biology.
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