University of Iowa College of Medicine, Ph.D., 1995
Alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and the medical complications of excessive drinking are major world-wide health problems. There are three long-term goals of my laboratory: (1) Alcohol exposure during development results in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and induces profound damages to the central nervous system (CNS). I am interested in elucidating cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced damage to the developing brain. Particularly I am interested in the interaction among oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy and how the interaction contributes to alcohol-induced CNS damage. (2) Alcohol is a tumor promoter and enhances the progression of mammary tumor. I am interested in elucidating cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-promoted tumor progression, particularly the metastasis of breast cancer cells. (3) Chronic and heavy alcohol abuse causes neurodegeneration and thiamine deficiency (TD). I am interested in elucidating the role of TD in CNS damages caused by chronic alcohol exposure.