The Jiang lab studies the cellular and molecular basis of human neural development and pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disease by using human patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (a.k.a. iPSCs). We create iPSC-based in vitro neural differentiation and in vivo cell transplantation models to investigate how abnormal gene expression in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Down syndrome, causes abnormal brain development, changes synaptic plasticity and leads to cognitive deficits in these disorders.
In addition, iPSCs hold great promise for developing cell therapies to replace damaged brain cells and restore brain functions after CNS injury. We also study how to derive functionally competent neural cells from human iPSCs for neural repair. The basic and translational stem cell research we are pursuing critically bridges between the understanding of human neural development in heath and disease, and the development of stem cell medicine to treat neurological disorders.