Associate Professor, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA School of Medicine
My role is Principal Investigator. I have more than 10 years experience in drug development including 1) an herbal ginseng saponin; 2) OPC21268, vasopressin V1 antagonist, an anti-hypertension drug; and 3) Fasudil Hydrochloride (INN), a potent Rho-kinase inhibitor and vasodilator for the treatment of subarachnoid hemorrhage. In 2000, I joined Dr. Richard W. Olsen’s alcohol research team. My major research interests have been in the mechanisms underlying alcohol use disorders (AUD). I have considerable experience in studies related to alcohol-induced behavioral and physiological alterations, particularly GABAA receptor (GABAAR) plasticity. I had numerous high level publications. I have demonstrated chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) induced changes in a1/a4 containing GABAAR, also characterized, at least partially, a2 containing GABAAR properties. Based on the knowledge I obtained from alcohol studies, I started the development of therapeutic agents for AUD from 2005. I got NIH grant entitled “Mechanisms underlying effects of Hovenia-dihydromyricetin on alcohol intoxication” (PI: J. Liang, NIH R21AA017991, 9/2009 - 2/2012) for supporting the drug development work. I led my team and found a promising effective compound from herbal medications, dihydromyricetin, for alcohol- induced problems. Our manuscript (Publication #4) has been selected to be the hottest topic in the week and reported by Science News, ABC, NBC live news, and the most major Media in the world. In addition, my team is developing the anti-neurodegeneration drug. Through UCLA Office of Intellectual Property Administration, I have gotten four patents (See Invention and Patent part) and plan to do in depth mechanism studies on the compound’s actions and study its effectiveness in humans. I am also able to continuously get the funding from commercial foundations to support my research.
My role is Principal Investigator. My major interests have been in the mechanisms underlying alcohol use disorders (AUD). Currently, my researches are focusing on developing the therapeutic agents for AUD and anti-neurodegeneration drug. I lead my team and we have found a promising compound from herbal medications, dihydromyricetin, for alcohol-induced problems. In addition, my team is developing the anti-neurodegeneration drug. Through UCLA, I have gotten four patents. In addition to NIH grant support, I also got the fundings from commercial foundations for my research.