Education:
1981-1985       BS in Biochemistry, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
1987-1992       PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
                         The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
                         and The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston

Training:
1992-1995       Postdoctoral fellow, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Research interests:
The mammalian retina and inner ear are two of the most common places of genetic diseases that cause blindness and deafness due to the degeneration of retinal and inner ear neurons. In order to understand the disease processes, it is crucial to elucidate the fundamental mechanisms regulating the normal development and maintenance of these neurons at the molecular level. My research is centered on identifying genes required for neuron differentiation and survival, investigating the genetic pathways involved in these processes, and developing therapies for blindness and deafness via gene therapy and regeneration.

Current projects:
Transcriptional cascade in the development and maintenance of retinal ganglion cells.
Transcriptional control of neuronal subtype and circuitry formation in the retina.
LIM-codes in the development of neurons and sensory organs of the inner ear.

Selected publications:

  1. Joshi, P.S., Molyneaux, B.J., Feng, L., Xie, X., Macklis, J., and Gan, L. (2008). Bhlhb5 Regulates the Post-Mitotic Acquisition of Area Identities in Layers II-V of the Developing Neocortex. Neuron 60, 258–272.
  2. Ding, Q. Joshi, P.S., Xie, Z., Xiang, M., and Gan, L. (2012). BARHL2 transcription factor regulates the ipsilateral/contralateral subtype divergence in postmitotic dI1 neurons of the developing spinal cord. Proc. Natl. Sci. Acad., USA. 109: 1566-1571.
  3. Luo, X., Deng, M., Xie, X., Huang, L., Wang, H., Jiang, L., Liang, G., Hu, F., Tieu, R., Chen, R., and Gan, L. (2013). GATA3 controls the specification of prosensory domain and neuronal survival in the mouse cochlea. Hum. Mol. Genet. 22, 3609-3623. (cover photograph).
  4. Luo, X., Li, M., Huang, L., Steinberg, S., Mattheisen, M., Donohoe, G., Shi, Y., Chen, C., Yue, W., Alkelai, A., Lerer, B., Li, Z., Yi, Q., Rietschel, M., Cichon, S., Collier, D.A., Tosato, S., Suvisaari, J., Rujescu, D., Golimbet, V., Silagadze, T., Durmishi, N., Milovancevic, M.P., Stefansson, H., Schulze, T.G., Nöthen, M.M., Chen, C., Lyne, R., Morris, D.W., Gill, M., Corvin, A., Zhang, D., Dong, Q., Moyzis, R.K., Sigurdsson, E., Stefansson, K., Hu, F., MooDS SCZ Consortium, Su, B., and Gan, L. (2014). Convergent lines of evidence support CAMKK2 as a schizophrenia susceptibility gene. Molecular Psychiatry. 19, 774-83. (Selected for F1000Prime).
  5. Deng, M., Luo, X., Pan, L., Yang, H., Xie, X., Liang, G., Huang, L., Hu, F., Kiernan, A., and Gan, L. (2014). LMO4 functions as a negative regulator of sensory organ formation in the mammalian cochlea. J. Neurosci. 34, 10072-7. (Selected for F1000Prime).
  6.  Dong X, Yang H, Zhou X, Xie X, Yu D, Guo L, Xu M, Zhang W, Liang G,Gan L (2020). LIM-Homeodomain Transcription Factor LHX4 Is Required for the Differentiation of Retinal Rod Bipolar Cells and OFF-Cone Bipolar Subtypes. Cell Rep. 2020 Sep 15;32(11):108144. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108144.