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Department of Neuroscience Research

Department of Neuroscience

Hongkuan Fan, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Contact Information


BS, Biochemistry, 1996, Jilin University, Changchun, China
Ph.D., Biochemistry, 2001, Jilin University, Changchun, China
Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2001-02, New Mexico Tech.
Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2002-06, Medical University of South Carolina

Research Interests

The role of Gα¡ proteins and β-arrestins 1 and 2 in septic shock

Septic shock causes more than 215,000 deaths each year in the U.S. and there is to date no effective treatment. Therefore our major hypothesis is that heterotrimeric Gi proteins and β-arrestins 1 and 2 are critical negative regulators of sepsis-induced inflammation and severity by negative regulation of components of the TLR signaling pathway.

The role of beta-arrestins 1 and 2 in rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease of unknown etiology that predominantly presents with synovial inflammation. With the ability to ultimately destroy cartilage and bone, RA induces significant morbidity and associated economic cost. Understanding the molecular immunology in RA will lead to the transition from conventional therapies of aggressive immune suppression to targeted biological and molecule-based therapies that control the inflammatory pathways associated with RA. The major hypothesis is that Beta-arrestin 1 and/or 2 negative regulation of NFκB and MAP kinase signaling is the mechanism by which β-arrestins suppress TLR4-induced signaling and pro-inflammatory mediator gene expression in experimental arthritis.