Bin Wu, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry
Institution
Johns Hopkins University
Address
855 North Wolfe Street
Rangos Building 454
City, State, Zip
Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone
(410) 502-4201
E-mail
bwu20[at]jhmi.edu
Website
http://wu.med.jhmi.edu/research/
Research Field
Biophysics
Award Year
2017

Research

My lab will investigate the role that localized protein synthesis plays in the growth and connection of neurons. To get proteins to their growing tips, neurons send out RNA molecules that are then used to direct the production of proteins on-site. But how the process is regulated at these remote locations is not well-understood. I have established methods to visualize single RNA molecules and their translation in neurons. By combining this approach with cutting-edge techniques in genetics and cell and molecular biology, I will develop strategies to manipulate protein-RNA interactions using light or chemicals in live cells to control the metabolism of individual RNAs—and, thus, when and where protein synthesis will occur. I will test whether RNAs that are directed toward the growing end of neural spines affect neural growth and, ultimately, the building of neural circuits—work that could lead to new interventions for conditions such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease, which are associated with a dysregulation of localized protein production.