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Featuring Chenghua Gu, DVM, PhD, Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard University

This seminar will be held in the Neurological Institute of New York’s Auditorium (1st floor). Columbia University’s Intercampus Shuttle Service is the best way to travel between campuses.

Chenghua Gu will discuss her recent progress on the understanding of the blood brain barrier and neurovascular coupling.

Dr. Gu is a professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Her laboratory studies the interactions between the vascular and the nervous systems, specifically how the blood-brain barrier (BBB) functions and how blood supply is dynamically matched to the local energy needs of neural circuits. Her laboratory recently demonstrated that inhibition of transcytosis is a major mechanism for the BBB function, a surprising finding in view of the nearly exclusive focus on tight junctions as the mechanism of BBB integrity. Her findings imply that the molecular pathways inhibiting transcytosis could be targeted to open the BBB and deliver drugs to the central nervous system. Her lab also discovered that neural activity can influence the structure of vascular networks, not only blood flow, which revealed a novel mechanism to match brain energy supply to neural demand. In earlier studies, Dr. Gu’s lab contributed to the recognition that the same guidance cues are used for wiring both the nervous and vascular systems, and discovered basic principles governing the establishment of neurovascular congruency.

Dr. Gu received her PhD at Cornell Medical School and did her postdoctoral training with David Ginty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Gu is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Faculty Scholar, and a winner of the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for highly innovative research (2014). She was awarded by the Bernice Grasfstin Lecture (2015) at Weill Cornell Medical College, a lecture was established to highlight the work of early-mid career women neuroscientists who are making their mark in their respective field. In 2008, She received the Allen Distinguished Investigator award.


Those who wish to meet the speaker during their visit should contact Crystal Collier (Troy lab). For general inquiries please contact programs@zi.columbia.edu.


The Columbia Neuroscience Seminar series is a collaborative effort of Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, the Department of Neuroscience, the Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior and the Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative, and with support from the Kavli Institute for Brain Science.