Yu-Chih Lin, Ph.D.
2015-present Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
2014-present Investigator, Program in Neuroscience, Hussman Institute for Autism, Baltimore, MD
2012-2014 Associate Research Scientist, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2008-2012 Postdoctoral Associate, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2008 Ph.D. Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
2002 B.S. Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
At the Hussman Institute for Autism, our research is focused on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of neuronal connectivity and how these pathways is altered in conditions such as autism. Using neuronal cultures as model systems, combining high resolution imaging techniques and biochemical approaches, my team will elucidate how cytoskeletal machinery is regulated to provide structural and functional stability to neurons, and how this pathway is disrupted in autism.
Since my undergraduate education, I have been interested in how the cytoskeleton supports cellular structure and regulates cellular motility and function, particularly in the central nervous system. My Ph.D. dissertation research under the supervision of Dr. Lori Redmond at the Medical College of Georgia discovered a novel non-catalytic role for CaMKIIβ, one isoform of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, in the regulation of actin stability in developing cortical neurons. My postdoctoral work in Dr. Anthony Koleske’s lab at Yale University determined how dendrite and dendritic spine stability are regulated by Abl2/Arg nonreceptor tyrosine kinases. Using genetic manipulation and pharmacological intervention, my work revealed how Abl2/Arg selectively blocks Rho signaling to stabilize neuronal dendrites, and fine-tunes dendritic spine stability by regulating activity-dependent dynamics of the cytoskeletal machinery. In addition, I also studied how integrin signaling regulates the morphological stability of neurons and the behavior outcomes in animals. This work showed that integrinβ1 signaling through Arg to activate p190RhoGAP is critical for maintaining the structural stability of hippocampal neurons, and this signaling pathway is essential to determine the behavioral response to cocaine.
Lin YC*, Frei JA, Kilander MBC, Shen W, and Blatt GJ. A subset of autism-associated genes regulate the structural stability of neurons. Front Cell Neurosci, 2016;10:263. (*corresponding author) [PMID: 27909399]
Warren MS, Bradley WD, Gourley SL, Lin YC, Simpson MA, Taylor JR, Greer CA, and Koleske AJ. Integrin β1 signals through Arg to regulate postnatal dendritic arborization, synapse density, and behavior. J Neurosci. 2012;32(8):2824-34. [PMID: 22357865]
Lin YC and Redmond L. Neuronal CaMKII acts as a structural kinase. Commun Integr Biol. 2009;2(1):40-1. [PMID: 19704866]