Editorial Board Member - JFSC
Dr. Zhu is Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Quillen College of Medicine of East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his M.D. degree at the Soochow University School of Medicine, China, and the Ph.D. degree in the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Then he finished his post-doctoral training at the Cancer Research Unit of the Saskatoon Cancer Center and University of Mississippi Medical Center. Since his doctorate, Dr. Zhu has been focused his research direction on psychiatric diseases with main field on major depression. He was an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at University of Mississippi Medical Center. Since 2007, Dr. Zhu has been recruited as the faculty of this campus.
My research interests are related to the molecular neurosciences. The projects focus on the exploration of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the modulation of the noradrenergic and serotonergic phenotypes in the brain,as well as the neuroprotection of specific bioactive compounds from neuronal toxicity. We are investigating effects of stress hormones, transcription factors, antidepressants and other psychopharmacological compounds on gene expressionin central catecholamine systems, and on neurogenesis. In addition, we study the neuroprotective effect of agmatine, a putative neurotransmitter in the brain, on hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo. This latter project also includes investigating the regulation of enzymes involved in the synthesis of agmatine.
A variety of cellular and molecular biological methodologies, as well as stereotaxic surgery and behavioral analyses are applied to cell and/or animal models to address these research goals. Since dysfunction of neural circuitry in central catecholamine systems and cell injury are potentially involved in the development of psychiatric and neurological illnesses such as major depression, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, these studies will improve our understanding of the molecular pathology of these disorders, and may ultimately lead to improved therapeutic interventions.
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