Fang He, PhD, is an assistant professor in Department of Biological and Health Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. His research focuses on how genetic mutations contribute to the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and ataxia. Dr. He received his B.S. from Jiangxi Normal University in 2001, and his M.S. from Nanjing University, China in 2004. He graduated from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge with PhD Degree in 2011. He was trained for 5 years as a neurobiologist post-doc at University of Michigan before he joined current position at TAMU-Kingsville. His recent published works discovered the mechanisms of how CGG repeats contributes to the fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia (FXTAS), and how the gene C9ORF72 with GGGGCC repeats contributes to the ALS pathogenesis. Dr. He is a member of American Society of Cell Biology, and he has served as invited reviewers for several journals including Brain Research, Clinical Intervention of Aging, Journal of Alzheimer Research, and Journal of Neurological Sciences. As a biology instructor, Dr. He teaches General Biology and Genetics.
Age related neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the progressive loss of neurons in the brain or spinal cord. This heterogeneous group of diseases includes dementias with impairments in cognition and memory, degenerative ataxias that result in motor incoordination and motor neuron diseases like ALS that lead to weakness and loss of muscle control. One common genetic cause of neurodegeneration is nucleotide repeat expansions. Using primarily fruit flies as a model organism, together with genetic, molecular, cellular, and genomic techniques, I would like to explore how these repeat expansions and other mutations drive underlying pathological processes and identify novel pathways that might be amenable as drug targets for these devastating diseases.