Participating Faculty

Jun Xu

Jun Xu

Department:Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience
Credentials:1999-Ph.D.; University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Mailing Address:PO Box 646520
Pullman, WA 99164-6520

Research Summary

We study cognition and emotion in mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g. mental retardation, autism, and mood disorder). Specifically, we carry out analyses that focus on epigenetic chromatin remodeling which integrates the behavioral impacts of genetics, physiology, and early life experience. These projects examine specific chromatin modifying enzymes and chromatin modifications which regulate gene expression, synaptic morphology, and behavior. At the same time, we search for the causative genes and chromatin remodeling events responsible for behavioral variations between mice of different strains, sexes, ages, or social/physical environment. In these projects, we employ a variety of laboratory techniques such as viral-mediated gene knock-in and knock-out, chromatin immunoprecipation, gene expression array, synaptic/dendritic quantification, and behavioral testing.

Research Publications

Berletch, J.B., Yang, F., Xu, J., Carrel, L. and Disteche, C.M. (2011) Genes that escape from X inactivation. Human Genetics130: 237-45.

Xu, J. and Andreassi, M. (2011) Reversible Histone Methylation Regulates Brain Gene Expression and Behavior. Hormones and Behavior 59: 383-92.

• Among the most frequently downloaded papers in 2011 from the Horm. & Behav.

Sasaki JY, Kim HS, Xu J (2011) Religion and well-being: The moderating role of culture and an oxytocin receptor polymorphism. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (in press)

Mellios, N., Galdzicka, M., Ginns, E., Rogaev, E., Xu, J. and Akbarian, S. (2010) An estrogen-sensitive microRNA, miR-30b, is expressed at decreased levels in cerebral cortex of female subjects with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin [2010 Aug 23. Epub ahead of print]

Kim, H.S., Sherman, D.K., Sasaki, J.Y., Xu, J., Chu, T.Q., Ryu, C., Suh, E.M., Graham, K. and Taylor, S.E. (2010) Culture, distress, and oxytocin receptor polymorphism (OXTR) interact to influence emotional support seeking. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107: 15717-21.

• Featured on the Discover magazine website (Aug. 16, 2010) Genes and culture: OXTR gene influences social behaviour differently in Americans and Koreans

• Featured on the Wired magazine website (August 19, 2010) Stern Korean Culture Stifles Biological Predisposition to Blab

Washington State University