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Jian Feng

Professor at Department of Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo

My research is aimed at finding the cause and a cure for Parkinson's disease.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is defined by a characteristic set of locomotor symptoms (rest tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability) that are believed to be caused by the selective loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in substantia nigra. The persistent difficulties in using animals to model this human disease suggest that human nigral dopaminergic neurons have certain vulnerabilities that are unique to our species.


One of our unique features is the large size of the human brain (1350 grams on average) relative to the body. A single nigral dopaminergic neuron in a rat brain (2 grams) has a massive axon arbor with a total length of 45 centimeters. Assuming that all mammalian species share a similar brain wiring plan, we can estimate (using the cube root of brain weight) that a single human nigral dopaminergic neuron may have an axon with gigantic arborization that totals 4.6 meters. 

See also: Academia University at Buffalo - Largest public university in the State University of New York system

Jian Feng News

Millions of mature human cells can be produced in a mouse embryo

University at Buffalo - 15-May-2020

These mouse models can be used to study about diseases such as malaria and COVID-19