Welcome to the Hsieh Lab!

The Hsieh lab is a neural stem cell biology laboratory in the Departments of Molecular Biology, Neurology, and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, USA. We are affiliated with the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine. Our research program strives to decipher the gene regulatory mechanisms that control neural stem cell fate. We apply these mechanisms to understand the causes of epilepsy and develop better therapeutics.

 

Overview of our research

Neural stem cells play a critical role in learning, memory formation, and mood regulation. These stem cells are present in both human and other mammals and continually self-renew throughout life facilitating these key functions. Here in the Hsieh lab we study the genetic mechanisms that control and regulate these stem cells. By making use of various models of brain injury and disease such as epilepsy, stroke, and traumatic brain injury we are working on dissecting the role of these stem cells in disease propagation and therapeutic interventions.

 

One of the major focuses of our lab is to use patient derived pluripotent stem cells and animal models of epilepsy. Epilepsy is a devastating disease of the central nervous system characterized by spontaneous recurring seizures and affects 3 million Americans each year. Unfortunately, 1/3 of patients with epilepsy do not respond to any currently available therapeutic medications. We are particularly interested in the causes of genetic epilepsy, where a single causative gene mutation is discovered. Some of the newest technology in the field has allowed us to culture induced pluripotent stem cells derived from human clinical patients and perform gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9 to generate isogenic controls in order to study epilepsy-in-a-dish. The goal of our work is to better understand the underlying causes of epilepsy and pave the way for improving therapies through personalized medicine and treatment.