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My name is Quan WU.  I am a senior lecture in Kyoto University.  I focus on brain development and aging of neural stem cells.

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My Story

During my third year of university, I had an internship in Mr. Shinji Adachi's laboratory at Hokkaido University. I observed the process of fertilized sturgeon eggs from cleavage to hatching with my mentors (and, of course, ate a lot of caviar), and became interested in the wonder and beauty of developmental biology. After completing my graduation thesis and master's thesis (on sex-determining sequences in the brain and gonads of fish), I gave up on fish as a model organism because CRISPER/CAS9 was not yet available at that time, and I realized that I could not simply edit the genome to validate my theory.


During my PhD, I studied mouse genetics under Dr. Yumiko Saga (National Institute of Genetics). I focused on sex determination in germ cells, but in Saga's lab, there were many different teams working on different topics such as lungs, hearts, and body segments. Therefore, I understood the importance of studying development systematically rather than focusing on one tissue or organ. 


During my postdoctoral period until now, I have been studying neural stem cell fate determination and cerebral cortex development in the laboratory of Dr. Fumio Matsuzaki (RIKEN). Now my research theme is time. Each organism has its own time, and the time required for their development is different, as is their life span. What determines biological time? This question has plagued biologists until recently, with the advancement of DNA sequencing and all the new technologies that have come out of the world that have made it possible to answer this question. I now have two main research themes, one is the study of temporal scaling mechanisms during development using mouse, ferret, and human cerebral cortex as models, since they possess different developmental times. (The development of the cerebral cortex is basically the same, in the order of producing deep-layer neurons, upper-layer neurons and glia, but the time required varies greatly.) With this topic, I would like to not only find the clock that can represent the developmental time of an animal, but I would also like to know if the difference in developmental time would have an effect on the complexity of the organ. Another topic is the effect of changes in translation mechanisms during aging on the fate of neural stem cells. In addition, the length of developmental time also seems to link with the length of lifespan, and whether there is any connection between them is also a question worth pondering.


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.

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