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Meet the Junior Faculty

Qian Cai:  Dr. Cai obtained her PhD at NIH through the National Institutes of Health-Shanghai Second Medical University (NIH-SSMU) Joint Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience. She holds a Masters in molecular virology from SSMU and an MD from Shanghai Tongji University School of Medicine. After receiving her medical degree, she practiced as a physician in internal medicine and infectious disease in Shanghai for three years. She was awarded NIH K99/R00 award to support her career development. She is also a four-time recipient of the NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence. Dr. Cai enjoys mentoring young scientists interested in molecular neuroscience careers. She is currently funded by NIH for her work on investigating the role of neuronal autophagy-lysosomal regulation in AD pathogenesis.

Kelvin Kwan: 
Dr. Kwan was an undergraduate at Caltech and a graduate student at Harvard University where he studied molecular biology and biochemistry. It was not until his post-doctoral career at Harvard Medical School when he ventured into the field of neuroscience and honed in on studying the sensory hair cells of the inner ear. He joins a well-established group of auditory neuroscientists to continue his research at Rutgers. Although Dr. Kwan’s research focuses on the development of cultured stem cells for the auditory system, he has also been heavily engaged with the nascent consortium of Rutgers scientists who use human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) to probe mental health disorders. The ability to interact with colleagues in his field as well as reach out and benefit from cross disciplinary studies was a major draw for his arrival at Rutgers.

David Margolis: 
I studied Neuroscience as an undergraduate at Brown University and earned a PhD in Neurobiology & Behavior at the University of Washington. For my postdoctoral training, I moved to Zurich, Switzerland for five years to learn in vivo imaging in mice, work that I continue here at Rutgers. The Margolis Lab is housed in new state of the art lab space ideal for imaging brain activity in behaving mice. I enjoy the possibilities to interact with other CBN faculty and students as well as those from neighboring departments, such as Psychology and Biomedical Engineering.

Ken Paradiso: 
My lab is studying presynaptic activity in neurons to better understand neuronal communication in the brain. We work on a presynaptic terminal that is involved in sound localization and is one of the few nerve terminals in the brain where direct electrical patch clamp recordings can be done. Students in my lab are currently testing several projects, one of which is to determine how small changes in the action potential produce unexpectedly large changes in the calcium channel response and subsequent neurotransmitter release. Prior to joining CBN, I was at the National Institutes of Health where my work demonstrated how electrical activity in nerve terminals can travel a significant distance, backwards along the axon, to enhance or diminish action potential generation. At Rutgers, I am excited to see my lab up and running and I enjoy discussing neuroscience with the students and faculty. In addition, the range of high quality scientific research at Rutgers allows us to consult with experts in a variety of areas, and has given us several opportunities for collaboration.

Long-Jun Wu: 
I received PhD degree in Neurobiology and Biophysics at University of Science and Technology of China in 2004. From year 2004 to 2010, I did my postdoctoral trainings at University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School, respectively. I was an Instructor at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School before I started a tenure track Assistant Professor Position at the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University in 2012. I chose Rutgers CBN to start my independent research career because I like the friendly and free environment as well as its diverse research programs. I believe it exactly is the place where I want to build my career at. Currently, our lab has three postdoctoral researchers, two graduate students, and three undergraduate research assistants.

Ping Xie
:  Research in Dr. Xie’s laboratory focuses on understanding molecular mechanisms of immune regulation and cancer pathogenesis. Regulation of immune cell homeostasis and functionality is central to the proper functioning of the immune system in vertebrates. Aberrant functions of immune cells and dysregulation of immune responses contribute to the pathogenesis of almost all human diseases, including infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancers. To understand the molecular mechanisms of inflammation and B lymphomagenesis, we employ complementary human and mouse model systems as well as cutting-edge research technologies. Undergraduate students working in our laboratory have the opportunity to become proficient in a variety of laboratory techniques, including molecular cloning, tissue culture, molecular immunology, histopathology, protein interaction, and flow cytometry, etc. Most students graduated from our lab have successful experience in applying the Aresty Research Grants and summer fellowships, presenting their research projects at national and international scientific meetings, and publishing co-authored research articles. Comprehensive training in scientific thinking and writing, bench work, and oral presentation enable the students to be particularly competitive in application of medical schools, graduate schools, or other health-related professions.