We would like to welcome Dr. Hongzhen Hu to join CSI as an assistant professor, starting on June 1, 2014. Dr. Hu received his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University and conducted his post-doctoral training under Dr. Ardem Patapoutian at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation and the Scripps Research Institute. Prior to joining CSI, he was an assistant professor at the department of integrative biology and pharmacology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Dr. Hongzhen Hu uses electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches in combination to molecular biology, genetics and behavioral methods to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of pain and itch under physiological and pathological conditions focusing on the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels expressed by epidermal keratinocytes, cutaneous immune cells (dendritic cells, macrophages, and lymphocytes), and primary sensory neurons.
The long term goal of his research is to understand the mechanisms by which itch sensation is encoded in the skin with a focus on interaction between the resident skin cells and the primary sensory neurons, which is a key driving force to produce peripheral sensitization. Identification of cutaneous cells and molecules that are critically involved in the pathogenesis of chronic pruritus will provide novel insights into the molecular and cellular basis of chronic itch, which is essential to the development of effective anti-pruritic drugs.
Please join us to welcome Dr. Hongzhen Hu!