Dr. Yingfei Wang obtained her Ph.D. degree in neuroscience at the University of Magdeburg in Germany and completed her postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In December 2014, Dr. Wang became an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Neurology at UT Southwestern.
Dr. Wang studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of 1) mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration; 2) DNA damage- and oxidative stress-induced cell death, especially poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) dependent cell death (parthanatos) in neurons as well as cancer cells. PARP-1 is a nuclear enzyme and plays an important role in cell death through a caspase-independent manner after ischemia-reperfusion injury, glutamate excitotoxicity and various inflammatory responses, as well as other neurologic and non-neurologic diseases. We recently identified a novel PARP-1 activity associated nuclease (PAAN) as the executioner of parthanatos (Wang Y., et al. Science, 2016). Our studies have made significant contributions in understanding parthanatos in ischemic brain injury. Currently, our lab is using a combination of tools, including epigenetics, bioinformatics, proteomics and mouse genetics, to understand the cell signaling and regulation of PARP-1 dependent DNA damage and cell death in human cancers as well as neurologic diseases. Our overall goals are to identify novel therapeutic targets and translate the knowledge to prevent neuron loss but enhance cancer cell death.