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Dr. Hong Wei Dong

Assistant Professor
Laboratory of Neuro Imaging
Institute for Neuroimaging and Informatics
2001 N Soto Street, SSB1-102
Los Angeles, CA 90032
Email: hongwei.dong@loni.usc.edu

Dr. Dong’s research interests are neuroanatomy and neuroendocrinology. His research follows three major paths.

(1) Systematic characterization of neuronal connectivity in the mouse brain using modern neural tract tracing and genetic tracing technologies. The long- term goal of this project is to create a high resolution, three-dimensional connection matrix atlas of the C57Black/6J mouse brain, which will be an indispensable resource for basic and applied neurobiological research.

(2) High-resolution gene expression analysis in the mouse brain. The purpose of this project is to refine the architectonic delineations of the mouse brain and identify novel candidate genes underlying wiring diagram of brain structures. As a foundation of this project, Dr. Dong published a standard mouse brain atlas-the Allen Reference Atlas (Dong, 2008, Wiley) which serves as the backbone of one genomic-wide gene expression mapping project, the Allen Brain Atlas (www.brain-map.org).

(3) Investigations on the plasticity of neural circuits and molecular substrates underlying chronic psychological stress in early postnatal and peri-puberty stages in mice, and determine the structural and molecular interface of psychological stress and cannabinoid activities. This study will help us understand the genetic and epigenetic etiologies of neural psychiatric disorders and drug abuse.

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