Yi-Lan Weng earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Life Science from National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) in 1999 and his master’s degree in Biochemistry from National Yang-Ming University (Taiwan) in 2001. He received his PhD in Neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 2011 where he focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of axon targeting and regeneration. While at CWRU, he helped to design a specific peptide that blocked protein tyrosine phosphatase-sigma signal transduction, successfully restored serotonergic innervation to the spinal cord in rats, and facilitated functional recovery of both locomotor and urinary systems following spinal cord injury. During his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Weng developed a serial of innovative next-generation sequencing approaches and experimental methods to elucidate roles of DNA and RNA epigenetics in determining regenerative capacity. His findings have been published in the most prestigious journals, including Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and Neuron. In 2018, Dr. Weng joined the Center for Neuroregeneration at HMRI as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Weng’s research investigates the epitranscriptomic regulation of neuronal function.
I am interested in understanding how the regenerative capacity is governed in the nervous system. In the lab, we use combinatorial approaches including next-generation sequencing, molecular biology and fluorescence imaging to study the epitranscriptomic mechanisms in neural repair and human pathologies at different stages of development. In particular, we are interested in the m6A RNA methylation in regulating RNA trafficking, localization and translation, as well as how dysfunction of these mechanisms could be linked to brain disorders. The long-term goal is to use knowledge obtained from these analyses to guide therapeutic approaches for treatment of injuries, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.