Hong Xu, PhD
My career goal is to become an independent investigator in tauopathy research and to specifically contribute to novel therapeutic strategies for these neurodegenerative diseases. Observing the effect of aging in my own family has inspired me to devote my career to the study of aging and age-related diseases. I gained a strong background in biochemistry and molecular biology in graduate school at Tongji University in China, where I majored in molecular biology and developed skills in basic molecular biology, protein synthesis and purification using chromatography. I began to specify my research interest in tau protein and tauopathy at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, where I conducted translational studies to elucidate potential therapeutic targets for tauopathy and gained experience modelling tauopathies using neuron cultures and transgenic mouse models. To further my training and expand my skillset as an investigator, I came to the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the past three years, I have gained additional expertise in using tau transmission models to illustrate mechanisms of tau pathogenesis. In addition to the technical skills that I have developed at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, I have had the opportunity to refine other essential research skills including written and oral communication, giving presentations, and teaching, all of which will serve me well in my future as an independent investigator.