Dr. Shen's Research
Research in Dr. Wen Shen’s laboratory has focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic function and neuroplasticity in brain and sensory system. Using in vivo animal models and in vitro retinal tissues and human brain tissues, Dr. Shen’s lab addresses the fundamental questions regarding 1) how individual cells and complex of neural circuits interact at performing of visual and brain functions and 2) how membrane receptors, transporters, ion channels and intracellular pathways play their roles in signal transduction and neuromodulation in healthy and diseased retina and brain. As a retina is an approachable part of the brain, neural changes in retina are correlated with the pathological stage of brain diseases, particularly in Alzheimer and stroke.
Dr. Shen’s lab is also interested in development of non-invasive treatment strategies aimed at mitigating or preventing retinal degeneration and loss of visual function at large. The research emphasis is on the study of the neuroprotective mechanisms of neurotrophic factors and neuroprotective agents in against of neurodegeneration as a consequence of neuron death in retinal diseases. The study will provide insight into develop effective therapeutic drug(s) for prevention and treatment of neural dysfunction in the early stages of neuronal degenerative diseases. Multifaceted experimental approaches are used in Dr. Shen’s laboratory, including genetic engineering, electrophysiological recording, and optical imaging techniques. Over the years, Dr. Shen’s research has been supported by National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation and Fight for Sight, Prevent Blindness America.