Ju Gao, PhD

Ju Gao, PhD
Ju Gao, PhDInstructor

Laboratory of Xinglong Wang, PhD

Durham Research Center 3028
985800 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5800


Keywords: Mitochondrial dynamics, Mitochondrial respiration, Protein phase separation, Alzheimer’s disease, Neurodegeneration, Neuroinflammation, TDP-43 proteinopathy, Aβ

In the News
Research Interests
Ongoing projects
Representative Publications
Dr. Gao's biographical information

In the News

UNMC Today | November 24, 2021
New Faculty

Research Interests

Neurodegenerative diseases are incurable and devastating neurological disorders characterized by the progressive loss of the structure and function of neurons in the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system. Mitochondria, organelles found in most eukaryotic cells, are essential for neuronal survival and are involved in neuronal functions. Although mitochondrial dysfunction has long been demonstrated as a common prominent early pathological feature of a variety of common neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington's disease (HD), the causes of mitochondrial dysfunction in these diseases remain largely unknown. My research focuses on why mitochondrial function declines with advancing age and how to repair and reverse age-related mitochondrial dysfunction. I am focusing on the discovery of novel mechanisms causing mitochondrial dysfunction during aging and development of therapeutic strategies for potential treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, I am studying TDP-43 phase separation and exploring its contributions to the brain function.

Ongoing Projects

  1. Physiological function of Aggregatin (protein encoded by FAM222A)
  2. The role of TDP-43 phase separation in neurodegenerative diseases

Representative Publications

  1. Gao J, Wang L, Ren X, Dunn JR, Peters A, Miyagi M, Fujioka H, Zhao F, Askwith C, Liang J et al. Translational regulation in the brain by TDP-43 phase separation. J Cell Biol 2021: 220 (10): e202101019.
  2. Gao J, Wang L, Gao C, Arakawa H, Perry G, Wang X. TDP-43 inhibitory peptide alleviates neurodegeneration and memory loss in an APP transgenic mouse model for Alzheimer's disease. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2020: 1866: 165580
  3. Yan T*, Liang J*, Gao J*, Wang L*, Fujioka H, Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging I, Zhu X, Wang X. FAM222A encodes a protein which accumulates in plaques in Alzheimer's disease. Nat Commun 2020: 11: 411(*co-first author)
  4. Gao J, Wang L, Yan T, Perry G, Wang X. TDP-43 proteinopathy and mitochondrial abnormalities in neurodegeneration. Mol Cell Neurosci 2019: 100: 103396
  5. Huntley ML*, Gao J*, Termsarasab P, Wang L, Zeng S, Thammongkolchai T, Liu Y, Cohen ML, Wang X. Association between TDP-43 and mitochondria in inclusion body myositis. Lab Invest 2019: 99: 1041-1048(*co-first author)
  6. Wang L*, Gao J*, Liu J*, Siedlak SL, Torres S, Fujioka H, Huntley ML, Jiang Y, Ji H, Yan T et al. Mitofusin 2 Regulates Axonal Transport of Calpastatin to Prevent Neuromuscular Synaptic Elimination in Skeletal Muscles. Cell Metab 2018: 28: 400-414 e408 (*co-first author)
  7. Gao J, Wang L, Huntley ML, Perry G, Wang X. Pathomechanisms of TDP-43 in neurodegeneration. J Neurochem 2018: 10.1111/jnc.14327
  8. Gao J, Wang L, Liu J, Xie F, Su B, Wang X. Abnormalities of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Neurodegenerative Diseases. Antioxidants (Basel) 2017:6
  9. Gao J, Li M, Qin S, Zhang T, Jiang S, Hu Y, Deng Y, Zhang C, You D, Li H et al. Cytosolic PINK1 promotes the targeting of ubiquitinated proteins to the aggresome-autophagy pathway during proteasomal stress. Autophagy 2016:12: 632-647

Additional publications for Dr. Gao can be found at PubMed.

Dr. Gao's biographical information

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