Dr Bing Lang
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Room 3.47.6 Institute of Medical Sciences School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition University of Aberdeen Foresterhill Ashgrove Road West AB25 2ZD, Aberdeen Scotland, United Kingdom
Schizophrenia and schizophrenia affective disorders are severe psychiatric conditions with a world-wide prevalence higher than 1%. The pathophysiology of these illnesses is not clear, although numerous susceptibility genes and environmental influences have been proposed. Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is one of the most compelling risk genes for schizophrenia and other major psychiatric diseases, with highly complex and diversed functions. We are currently examining how the deficts of DISC1 affects neurite network establishment and synaptic formation & function. We have recently discovered a unique risk gene, ULK4 (Unc-51 Like Kinase 4), for human mental disorders including schizophrenia (Lang et al, 2014). Using in vivo gene knock-down approach, we aim to determine how Ulk4 depletion will affect brain functions which potentially cause manifestation of psychosis.
Neurogenesis in the brain of adult mammals occurs throughout life, and has been clearly demonstrated at two locations under normal conditions: the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus. Contribution of adult neurogenesis has been confirmed so far in learning and memory, depression and age-relating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. We are investigating this hot topic by using multiple gene-altered mouse models.
Current PhD projects:
1. Neuronal cilia and brain diseases. The neuronal cilia offers a unique sensory organelle that receives both mechanical and chemical signals from other cells and the environment, and transmits these signals to the nucleus to elicit a cellular response. We will analyze the effects of the perturbations on cilia assembly & function and the relationship with human mental discorders (Michal Pruski).
2. PartI: Implication of PTEN and pERK in itch transduction;
PartII: Manipulation of Ulk4 expression in utero and the relationship between dysfuctional brain development and schizophrenia (Guanyu Jiang).
3. PartI: A mouse line for inducible and reversible silencing of specific neurons;
PartII: Ulk4 null deletion and the resulting mouse behaviour (Ling Hu).
Uncover novel risk factors and underlying mechanisms which lead to human mental disorders including schizophrenia.
University of Aberdeen has three press releases which showcase my research:
My recent success in Schizophrenia research is also been highlighted by YAHOO and Youtube News:
Dr. Bazbek Davletov, PhD
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
Hills Road, CB2 0QH
Prof. Yu-Qiang Ding, MD., Ph.D.
Head of Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
Tongji University School of Medicine
Funding and Grants
The neurosciene Grand Challenge, Pfizer--Understanding current and novel modes of action in treatment of schizophrenia through the DISC1 pathway (2011-2014, co-applicant), £420,118.
The Cunningham Trust---A Serine/Threonine kinase as a novel target for schizophrenia (2011-2013, co-applicant). £104,133
Medical Research Scotland---Uncovering novel biomarkers for Schoziphrenia (2011-2014, principal investigator). £149,861
SULSA Early Career Exchange-Tongji University, Shanghai---Manipulating gene expression through in utero electroporation.(2012, £4950)
British Council China--Exploring the influence of ULK4 gene on early brain development and risk of schizophrenia (2012-2015, co-applicant). £63,833
Tenovus Scotland--Uncovering how ULK4, a novel risk gene for schizophrenia, influence brain development (2013-2014, principal investigator). £8030
NHS Grampian Endowment Funds--Establishing induced pluripotent stem cell lines from schizophrenia patients with a rare novel genetic deficit in ULK4 (2015-2016, principal investigator). £10k
The Carnegie Trust--Relationship study between a novel gene, brain development and the risk of schizophrenia (2015-2016, principal investigator). £7,500
Overseas and Mainland Chinese Scholars Collaborative grant--Exploring the influence of unc-51-like kinase 4 on corticogenesis and risk of schizophrenia (2016-2017, principal investigator).
BiraxFellowship--Pilot study of the interplay between Disc1, adult neurogenesis and immune system integrity by using Disc1 transgenic mice, an animal model for human schizophrenia. (2014-2015).