Our lab investigates abnormal functioning of the dopamine system to unlock the mysteries of neuronal brain dysfunctions and diseases to provide new approaches to the treatment of neurological and mental disorders such as schizophrenia, ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome and Parkinson’s disease.
The dopamine neurotransmitter system is a major target for the treatment of several behavioural and mental disorders. Since the 1970s, scientists have studied the connections between dopamine malfunction and two major central nervous system disorders, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. While there is increasing evidence that abnormal functioning of this system underlies several aspects of these disorders, the biological basis is largely unknown.
Research has shown that a single defective gene does not cause diseases affecting the central nervous system, which suggests that the treatment of neuronal brain dysfunctions may involve modifications to more than just one neurotransmitter system. As a result, scientists are particularly interested in understanding the molecular interactions among various neurotransmitter receptors/transporters/ligand-gated ion-channels that may help pinpoint specific effector systems as alternative targets for treatment for persons with neurological and mental disorders.
Head: Dr. Fang Liu
Virginia Brown, BSc, Graduate Student
Terence Lai, BSc, Graduate Student
Shupeng Li, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Ping Su, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Ridong Wang, MD, PhD
Dongxu Zhai, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow