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Qingchun Tong

Qingchun Tong

Regular Member


[email protected]

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Institute of Molecular Medicine
Center for Metabolic and Degenerative Disease

The current obesity epidemic and its associated metabolic syndrome have imposed unprecedented challenges to society and medicine. Our research is directed to understand the fundamental mechanistic insights on key driving causes for defective feeding and body weight regulation, therefore providing conceptual and effective targets for prevention and treatment of eating disorders, obesity, diabetes and aging. Toward our goals, we employ various animal models in combination with the state of the art techniques including electrophysiology, optogenetics, chemogenetics and in vivo live imaging. Cre-lox P mouse genetics is used to achieve neuron-specific manipulations in the brain. Also various adenoassociated viral vectors (AAV) harboring genes that exhibit Cre-dependent expression will be delivered to specific brain regions of Cre-expressing neurons, achieving neuron-expression of foreign tool genes. Example foreign genes include specific channels that either activate or inhibit neurons. In addition, virus based tracing is used to map specific neural projections and their implications in physiology and behaviors. We are also exploring to use CRISPR/Cas9 technology to achieve neuron-specific gene deletion in adult mice. We will also combine the newly available Flpo lines and Flpo-dependent AAV vectors with the existing Cre-loxP system to achieve more specific targeting and tracing functional neurocircuits. These advanced techniques ensure our studies are effective and conclusions are insightful. Recently, our research has also expanded to glia cells and AAV-based manipulations in glia cells will be used to investigate how glia cells interact with neurons that may contribute to animal behavior and physiology under the context of obesity, diabetes, and aging.


IMM Faculty

Tong Lab

revised 1/13/2020

Education & Training

Ph.D. - SUNY Downstate Medical Center - 2003