R. Grace Zhai, Ph.D.

Photo of R. Grace Zhai

TitleAssistant Professor
DepartmentDepartment of Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology
InstitutionUniversity of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Address1600 NW 10th Avenue
 Rosenstiel Medical Sciences Building 6069
City, State, ZipMiami, FL 33136
Phone(305) 243-6316
Research FieldNeuroscience
Award Year2009


The research in my laboratory is directed toward understanding the genetic and cellular basis of neural development, maintenance and degeneration using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. †Healthy neurons are able to maintain their integrity throughout the lifespan, suggesting the existence of a maintenance mechanism that allows neurons to sustain or even repair damage. † When such a maintenance system is damaged (owing to a genetic mutation for example), or there is a toxic insult at levels surpassing the maintenance capacity, neurons will deteriorate. Conversely, strengthening the maintenance system may serve to increase the capability of neurons to tolerate insults, from internal or external sources. Therefore, studying the mechanisms of neuronal maintenance will help us understand the process of neurodegeneration, and more importantly uncover potential mechanisms of neuronal protection.


2009 Scholars


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