Xiaowei Wang, PhD

I pursued Ph.D. training in neuroscience at the University of Rochester under the co-mentorship of Dr. Maiken Nedergaard and Dr. Jason Huang. For my Ph.D. thesis, I studied the physiological function of Na+-K+-Cl– cotransporter 1 (NKCC1) in buffering extracellular K+ in the white matter of the central nervous system (CNS) as well as how NKCC1 might contribute to posttraumatic seizure development. During my Ph.D. training, I developed an interest in solute removal from the CNS where conventional lymphatics are largely missing. I was especially interested in the ocular system, where CNS tissue directly faces peripheral challenges. I stayed as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Nedergaard, whose lab established the glymphatic system, an astrocyte-dependent perivascular fluid movement system, in the brain. My postdoctoral work in Dr. Nedergaard’s lab characterized the ocular glymphatic clearance system as well as its response to light stimulation and translaminar pressure. My work also demonstrated malfunction of the ocular glymphatic clearance system in mouse models of glaucoma, potentially opened new therapeutic revenue. I then joined Dr. Douglas Gould’s lab to study how type IV collagen in the neurovascular basement membrane is involved in neurodegenerative disease. My projects in the Gould lab aim to understand how age-dependent changes in extracellular matrix protein contribute to a loss of cerebrovascular myogenic tone and cognitive impairment.