Professor Li-Huei Tsai is the Director of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Picower Professor of Neuroscience, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. She obtained Ph.D. from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and postdoctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and Massachusetts General Hospital. Tsai became Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and was promoted to tenure Professor at Harvard in 2002. She relocated to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2006. She was an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1997 to 2013. Tsai is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and an Academician of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan.
Tsai is interested in elucidating the pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurological disorders that impact learning and memory. She takes a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the molecular, systems, and circuit basis of neurodegenerative disorders. Recent contributions include the identification of chromatin remodeling as a means to regulate memory gene expression and enhance cognitive function during neurodegeneration. Her lab also conducts epigenomic analysis of mouse and human Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain samples and has identified important contributions of dysregulated immune response genes in AD. Currently, the Tsai lab uses induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSCs) derived from human subjects to model AD and large scale imaging, optogenetics, and in vivo electrophysiology to study the brain circuitry affected by AD. Recently, she and her colleagues invented a non-invasive sensory stimulation technology that proved effective in augmenting immune response and reducing AD pathology on animal models.
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