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Xiaobo Mao: Paul Ehrlich Award

This award represents my last six years of research and is a good start and encouragement for my career as a faculty member.

Xiaobo Mao

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Mentors: Ted Dawson and Valina Dawson

Project Details

The pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease may be due to cell-to-cell transmission of misfolded preformed fibrils (PFF) of alpha-synuclein. The mechanism by which pathologic alpha-synuclein spreads from neuron to neuron is not known. Through my research, I identified a pathologic alpha-synuclein receptor, LAG3, which can mediate alpha-synuclein transmission. 

Learn more about the Dawson Lab

Why did you choose Johns Hopkins for your work?

Johns Hopkins University is a top medical research institution. Drs. Ted and Valina Dawson’s lab has extensive background in Parkinson’s disease. I am interested in amyloid science and I would like to change my research interest from biophysics/nanoscience to neurology.

What does receiving this award mean to you?

This award represents my last six years of research and is a good start and encouragement for my career as a faculty member.

What contributed to your project's success?

Guidance is the most important factor for success. Drs. Ted and Valina Dawson’s guidance on neurology, cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry helped facilitate the project immensely. 

What thoughts do you have about Young Investigator's Day itself?

I hope this award encourages students and postdocs and stimulates young investigators in their research career. 

What has been your best or most memorable experience while at Johns Hopkins?

Research can’t be finished by an individual, and I appreciate the help provided by my friends, colleagues and mentors. Without their help, I can’t image that I would receive this award. 

What are your plans over the next year or so?

I’m going to build my own lab as a faculty member and continue to work on neurodegeneration and nanoscience.

What are your hobbies or interests?

I love music, singing, playing guitar, badminton, basketball and mobile games. These hobbies allow me to relax.