Principal Investigator

Hui-Chen Lu, is a Gill Chair of Neuroscience in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. She received her Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. Her research focuses on the signaling cascades underlying neural circuit connections during brain development, to understand how sensory experiences affect neural circuit wiring, and to identify novel factors required to maintain the health of neural circuits during aging.

Education:

  • B.S., National Taiwan University, 1991
  • Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, 1997
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Baylor College of Medicine, 1997-2003

Current Research:

  • Development of cortical neural circuits, in particular on activity-dependent remodeling and how to correct mis-wiring in neurological disorders.
  • Neuroprotective strategies to reserve cognition and to protect against dementia.

Research Scientists

Yousuf Ali, Ph.D. yoali@iu.edu Curriculum Vitae

Yousuf O. Ali is an Assistant Scientist in the Lu Lab. He received his Ph.D. from University of Miami. His main research interests lie in understanding some of the underlying mechanisms that disrupt cellular homeostasis and serve as a basis of disease in different proteinopathies, specifically Alzheimer’s disease and tauopathies.

Education:

  • B.A. Ohio Wesleyan University, 2001, Majors: Pre-Medicine, Environmental Studies, Minor: Chemistry
  • Ph.D., University of Miami, Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmamcology (Mentor: Grace Zhai, Ph.D.)

Current Research:

  • Understanding the intrinsic maintenance mechanisms in neurons required to sustain neuronal health and repair damages upon various insults.
  • Investigating Alzheimer's disease from a systemic view, to understand if heart disease is an early catastrophe in Alzheimer’s disease that accelerates dementia later in life.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Jui-Yen Huang, Ph.D. juiyhuan@iu.edu Curriculum Vitae

Current Research:

  • The role of FGF/FGFR signaling in brain circuitry formation and maintenance.
  • The underlying mechanisms that regulate FGF/FGFR expression.
 
Salil Sharma, Ph.D. salishar@iu.edu Curriculum Vitae

Salil Sharma is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University. He received his Ph.D. from University of Miami School of Medicine. He has a long-standing interest in exploring the role of microRNAs and other non-coding regulatory molecules in various diseases. He is currently pursuing the possibility to use circulating microRNAs as biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Education:

  • M.S., Bangalore University, India 2003
  • Ph.D., University of Miami School of Medicine, 2011
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Los Angeles, 2012-2015

Current Research:

  • Study the mechanistic role of noncoding RNA molecules, in particular, circulating microRNAs as regulatory molecules that contribute to the onset and progression of AD.
  • Identify circulating miRNAs that are altered in early AD, and could ultimately and reliably be used as biomarkers to monitor pathological changes in AD patients.

Graduate Students

Gillian Bradley bradleyg@umail.iu.edu

Gillian Bradley

bradleyg@umail.iu.edu

Gillian Bradley is a dual Ph.D graduate student in Psychology and Neuroscience at Indiana University Bloomington. She received her B.A. from Drew University in Neuroscience. As she is interested in elucidating pathways of neurodegeneration and mechanisms of intervention, her research focuses on the effects of NMNAT2 loss in the adult mouse brain, with special interest in resulting inflammation, cognitive decline and synaptic deficits.

Education:

  • B.A., Drew University, 2013

Current Research:

  • The role of NMNAT2 in neurodegeneration, identifying pathways and signals that cause a decline in cell maintenance and health, in both normal aging and pathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Identifying novel protective pharmaceutical interventions and pathway alterations to prevent or slow degeneration.
  • Relationship between glial signaling and outcomes of neural maintenance, protection or cell death.
  • Mechanisms of neural maintenance in aged organisms.
 
Taehyeon Kim kth7325@gmail.com Curriculum Vitae

Taehyeon Kim

kth7325@gmail.com

Curriculum Vitae

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Sen Yang yangsen2016@outlook.com Curriculum Vitae

Sen Yang

yangsen2016@outlook.com

Curriculum Vitae

Sen Yang is a dual Ph.D. student in Psychology & Brain Sciences and Neuroscience at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research interest is in neurodegenerative disease, specifically in the synaptic loss associated with Alzheimer's disease, and mechanisms of learning, memory, and consciousness.


Research Technicians

Hunter is a research technician from Dallas, TX who began working with Dr. Lu before the lab moved from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. He currently heads-up the operation of the multi-photon microscope in the lab, both performing active research and training users in the operation of the scope. He is also responsible for managing lab IT functions, training individuals in basic laboratory procedures, and assisting with technical and computing activities such as Matlab, Python, and other programming for data analysis.

Education:

  • B.S. in Neurobiology, University of Texas at Austin, 2012

Current Research:

  • Longitudinal in vivo multi-photon imaging studies of neurodegeneration in the context of Alzheimer's disease with a focus on the involvement of the NMNAT2 protein.
  • In vivo multi-photon studies of microglial changes under various neurobiological conditions
 
Bruce Henry bhenry@iupui.edu

Bruce Henry

bhenry@iupui.edu

Bruce joined the Lu laboratory after working for many years as in the microscopy core at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He now assists with both surgical procedures and in vivo multi-photon microscopy. His hobbies are canoeing, backpacking, camping, fishing, geology, and wood working.

Education:

  • B.S., University of Indianapolis, 1973
 
Dena B. Mahmoudi denabakh@indiana.edu

Dena B. Mahmoudi

denabakh@indiana.edu

Dena is a trained veterinarian from Iran. He loves animals and works extremely well with them. Some might call him the Persian Dr. Dolittle. 

 

Marisha is a former student researcher in the Lu lab who now serves as the lab manager in addition to continuing her neuroscience research. Her current research focus involves examining the role of Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) in cortical and hippocampal development.


Undergraduate & High-School Students

Jason Graf jasmgraf@iun.edu

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May Russell is a sophomore majoring in neuroscience at Indiana University. She is also a pre-med student and will likely minor in Chinese. May is from Indianapolis, where she graduated from Lawrence Central High School. Her hobbies include reading, photography, dancing, and playing ping pong. May began working in Dr. Lu’s Lab in January of 2016 and is currently working with Jui-Yen Huang on her study of FGFR3 hyperfunction.

 
Michael Hess mdhess@bsu.edu

Michael Hess

mdhess@bsu.edu

Michael Hess is a senior attending Brown County High School. He plans to graduate at the top of his class in June of 2017. Afterwards, his plans are to attend a high-ranking university that offers a degree in neuroscience. He ultimately plans to be a neurosurgeon focusing mainly on spine surgery.


Former Lab Members

Diana Salas

Diana Salas

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Honorary Lab Members

Misty Theodore

Misty Theodore

Jana England

Jana England

Misty and Jana are the core administrators for the Gill Center and, with their invaluable assistance, have made the research of the all of the Gill Center laboratories possible.

 
Richard Moore

Richard Moore

Jesse Goode

Jesse Goode

Rick and Jesse head-up the workshop for the psychology department. They have helped in numerous ways, including lab modifications to facilitate our work and manufacture of custom tools and prototypes that aid in our ongoing research projects.