Jenny Hsieh, Ph.D.
Professor and Department Chair
Semmes Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Cell Biology
Ph.D. in Biology; John Hopkins University
The Hsieh laboratory studies the cellular and molecular markers that control neural stem cells in the hippocampus ("adult neurogenesis") as well as a "disease-in-a dish" approach, which uses patient stem cells to re-create human brain disorders in the lab. They were the first group to use a transgenic mouse to ablate adult-born granule neurons, and they showed this decreased seizure development later in life. The lab also uses optogenetic and chemogenetic tools to define the critical period and circuit mechanism that govern the aberrant properties of adult-born granule neurons in the hippocampus circuitry. To translate their work to patients, the lab uses human induced pluripotent stem cells to evaluate the role of genetic mutations in epilepsy and neurodegenerative disorders, ultimately for precision medicine. The lab's goal is to develop novel strategies to treat or prevent neurological disorders, such as acquired and genetic forms of epilepsy, or neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Hsieh's lab is interested in using novel tools, such as human induced pluripotent stem cells, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, and chemical biology to elucidate the basic mechanisms of neurological disorders. The lab has an open human subject research protocol to collect blood and tissue samples from patients in order to make human induced pluripotent stem cells and uses CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology and 3D human brain organoids to understand the causes of different neurological disorders. The lab also has an open, active animal research protocol in order to study epilepsy by using a mouse model.