Basic science research
PostMortem human pathology
The Kuo lab studies the structural changes of the cerebellum in ataxia and tremor. Individuals with various causes of ataxia and tremor donate their brains to Columbia University after they pass away, therefore allowing us to further investigate the cause of disease. We perform quantitative pathological analyses of these brains, in collaboration with Drs. Phyllis Faust and Elan Louis, to reveal the origin of where ataxia and tremor come from and to develop therapies targeting these structural changes.
The Kuo lab also specializes in preclinical modeling to understand the brain pathology in ataxia and tremor. We use mouse models to simulate the structural changes identified in the brains of patients with ataxia and tremor to test the causal relationship, as well as study the physiological and behavioral changes in these preclinical models. Using optogenetic tools and physiological methods, we seek to comprehensively understand brain circuitry alterations underlying ataxia and tremor.
The Kuo lab has expertise in translational research, which aims to develop tools that can enhance clinical trials and accelerate therapy development for ataxia and tremor. In collaboration with Dr. Ming-Kai Pan, we have developed cerebellar electroencephalogram (cerebellar EEG) technology to interrogate cerebellar physiology in real-time, which can be a novel tool to further probe into the physiology of ataxia and tremor.