Su Guo, PhD


Stem Cells, Neural Circuitry and Behavior

We are interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate neural stem cell function during the generation and maintenance of the brain.  For example, what genes and pathways that control stem cell quiescence, self-renewal, and differentiation?  How do stem cells respond to brain injury?

We are also interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate neural circuit assembly and organismal behavior.  Monoaminergic (e.g. Dopamine) and peptidergic (e.g. Corticotropin Releasing Factor) neurons are used as model cell types to understand how behaviors, in particular, those associated with emotional (e.g. fear) and motivational states, are encoded in the brain and the genome?

We employ the vertebrate genetic model organism zebrafish Danio rerio.  Through discovering fundamental mechanisms underlying the development and function of the vertebrate brain, we hope to learn about the etiology and pathogenesis mechanisms of human neurological disorders including Parkinson's disease, anxiety and depression, autism, schizophrenia and addiction, and contribute to developing novel therapeutic interventions for these disorders.

Current Projects

  • Imaging the ontogeny of neural stem cells in vivo
  • Mechanisms of embryonic and adult neurogenesis in the forebrain
  • Chemical genetics of dopaminergic neuron development and maintenance
  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the regulation of emotional behaviors

Lab Members

Mahendra Wagle, PhD

Francesca Oltrabella, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Mahdi Zarei, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dan Xie, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Xiang Zhao, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Harrison Liu
Bioengineering Graduate Student

Monica Han
Pharmacy Graduate Student

Jeffrey Kim
PSPG Graduate Student

Rebecca Choi
Junior Specialist

Seema Niddapu
Lab Assistant

Brian Nguyen
Bioengineering Graduate Student

Michael Munchua
Lab Technician

Hongbin Yuan
Lab Technician

Jessie Zhai
Lab Technician

Peter Lu
Administrative Analyst

Lab Website