The Han Lab

  • We address fundamental questions in neurobiology, aging and cell biology using creativity and state of the art methods.
  • We push new frontiers led by empirical evidence. 
  • We develop new tools and integrate tools from other fields to address questions related to the neurobiology of aging.
  • We develop collaborations with other scientists and physicians to investigate human disorders and development.

Our long-term research goal is to understand how the nervous system maintains its function and integrity during aging. In particular, our current goal is to investigate the underlying mechanisms of adult neurons’ axon regeneration to provide a therapeutic strategy against axonal damage. This is for several reasons.

First, axon regeneration is one of the essential processes that restore the nervous system after neuronal injury and neurodegeneration. Failure of axonal regeneration following nerve injury can lead to permanent body movement impairment. Second, despite its clinical significance, very little is known about the underlying mechanism of axon regeneration. Third, while aging decreases axon regeneration capacity, its underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. We combined expertise in cell biology, mitochondrial biology, and laser axotomy to develop a unique research program in the field of axon regeneration.

Our current projects include: 1) Investigating how neurons regulate mitochondrial dynamics in response to axonal injury and aging; 2) Elucidating how neurons control nuclear gene expression during axon regeneration and aging; 3) Discovering how neurons maintain proper behaviors and function of mitochondria in aging neurons.