Identify KCC2 Enhancers to treat Rett Syndrome
Rudolf Jaenisch, Ph.D., Li-Huei Tsai, Ph.D.
Xin came to MIT in 2014 with a specific research goal: develop novel therapies that target the neuronal chloride transporter KCC2 to treat autism. This project is based on his Ph.D. work performed in Dr. Gong Chen’s lab at the Pennsylvania State University, where he discovered that a reduction in KCC2 expression underlies the neurotransmission deficits observed in Rett syndrome neurons. At MIT, Xin has performed postdoctoral research in Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch’s lab to develop a novel drug screening platform based on human neurons derived from gene-edited stem cells. Xin has proceeded to identify and validate a group of novel KCC2 expression-enhancing small molecule compounds that could be utilized as potential therapies for Rett syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders. Prior to engaging in neuroscience research, Xin received his B.S. degree in biomedical engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China; and received a M.S. degree from Yale University studying neural tissue engineering.