|Disease Areas:||Motor Neuron Disease|
|Areas of expertise:||Stem Cells|
Prof. Shen is leading a research group working on animal model and human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models of brain disorders at REMEDI, School of Medicine, NUI Galway. His team has collaborated with Irish clinicians and now generated iPSCs from a total of ~50 individuals of healthy controls, and patients with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), and Long QT syndrome (LQTS), all of which are associated with specific genetic lesions. Their new project will also derive iPSCs from patients with Epilepsy. They are currently differentiating the iPSCs into astrocytes, neurons and cardiomyocytes, and phenotype them to establish human disease models on dish. They also discovered that ULK4 can be a rare risk factor for neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. They are working on the Ulk4 hypomorph mouse model and discovered its role in neuritogenesis, neurogenesis, ciliogenesis and anxiety behavior.