Wenbin Deng, Ph.D. - IDDRC Investigator

Wenbin Deng, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine,
UC Davis School of Medicine

2425 Stockton Blvd, Room 653B
Sacramento, CA 95817

Phone: 916-453-2287 / Fax:  916-453-2288
E-mail: wbdeng@ucdavis.edu 

Areas of Interest

Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Stem Cells


Deng Lab Research Interest:  The brain has two major cell types: neurons and glia. Our view about how the brain works has been traditionally neuro-centric, even though glial cells significantly outnumber neurons. Emerging evidence indicates that glial cells are critical in many normal and disease processes in the nervous system. Using rodent models (genetically-modified or surgically- or chemically-induced disease models) and induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cell-based human cellular models, the Deng lab conducts basic and translational neuroscience research with an emphasis on modeling neurodevelopmental disorders and delineating molecular mechanisms of neuron-glia interactions in health and disease. Focus is on (1) determining the role of neuron-glia synapses and their communications in central nervous system (CNS) development and function, and excitotoxic, oxidative or inflammatory forms of injury to the CNS, (2) pursuing stem cell differentiation towards neuronal and glial lineages and their co-cultures and their networks for CNS regeneration studies, and (3) conducting a series of drug trials using mouse models and human stem cell models of CNS disorders, such as Down syndrome, periventricular leukomalacia, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Current IDDRC Projects

  • Differentiation and Integration of Trisomy 21 iPSCs into An Animal Model, NICHD/NIH R01HD091325
  • Regenerating CNS White Matter using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, NICHD/NIH R01 HD087566
  • Glutamate Receptors in Hypoxic-ischemic Injury to Developing Oligodendrocytes, NINDS/NIH, R01 NS059043
  • Oligodendrocytes, Glutamate Receptors, and Neurotoxicity, NIEHS/NIH, R01 ES015988

Recent Representative Publications

Jiang P, Chen C, Liu X, Pleasure DE, Liu Y, Deng W. (2016) Promoting oligodendrogenesis by human iPSC-derived immature astroglia via increased TIMP-1 secretion. Cell Reports, 15 (6): 1303-1315. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.04.011. PMID: 27134175.

Chen C,Jiang P, Xue H, Peterson SE, Tran HT, McCann AE, Parast MM, Li S, Pleasure DE, Laurent LC, Loring JF, Liu Y, Deng W. (2014) Role of astroglia in Down’s syndrome revealed by patient-derived human-induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature Communications. 5:4430 doi: 10.1038/ncomms5430.

Jiang P, Chen C, Wang R, Chechneva OV, Chung S, Rao M, Pleasure DE, Liu Y, Zhang Q, Deng W. (2013) hESC-derived Olig2+ progenitors generate a subtype of astrocytes with protective effects against ischemic brain injury. Nature Communications, 4: 2196 doi: 10.1038/ncomms3196.

Daugherty DJ, Selvaraj V, Chechneva OV, Liu X, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2013) A TSPO ligand is protective in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. EMBO Mol Med, 5 (6): 891-903.

Jiang P, Chen C, Liu X, Selvaraj V, Liu W, Feldman DH, Liu Y, Pleasure DE, Li, RA, Deng W. (2013) Generation and characterization of spiking and nonspiking oligodendroglial precursor cells from embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells, 31 (9), doi: 10.1002/stem.1515.

Chung S, Guo F, Jiang P, Pleasure DE, Deng W. (2013) Olig2/Plp+ progenitor cells give rise to Bergmann glia in the cerebellum. Cell Death & Dis, 4:e546. doi:10.1038/cddis.2013.74. PMID: 23492777.

Liu Y, Jiang P, Deng W. (2011) Olig gene targeting in human pluripotent stem cells for motor neuron and oligodendrocyte differentiation. Nature Protocols, 6(5): 640-655.