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Xiaobo Mao, Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Xiaobo Mao, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Contact for Research Inquiries

Xiaobo Mao
733 N. Broadway, MRB 715
Baltimore, MD 21205 map

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Background

Dr. Mao's laboratory has been on forefront of discovery exploring resolving amyloid structures and α-synuclein transmission mechanism. His team has applied scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to study the core structures of amyloid peptides and distinguish amino acid sequence. Amyloid are a series of misfolded proteins resulting in severe degenerative diseases, which are hard to crystalized for structural analysis. The group has provided novel strategies to observe amyloid structures as well as the interaction between nanoparticles and amyloid peptides in air pollution and neurodegeneration fields.

Dr. Mao's major research interest is the transmission mechanism of prion-like protein α-synuclein. He uncovered LAG3 as a α-synuclein transmission receptor and this identification provides a new target for developing therapies designed to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related α-synucleinopathies. The Mao lab is currently investigating screening LAG3 inhibitors and LAG3 co-receptors in mouse and in human iPSC-derived dopaminergic and cortical neurons in vitro and in vivo.

Dr. Mao's laboratory employs advanced technologies in high throughput screening on inhibitors and receptors; human stem cell culture, including generation and differentiation; nanotechnology, including nanocharacterization and nanomaterials. The ultimate goal of the research is to understand the pathogenesis ofneurodegenerative diseases from the environmental factors, and cell and molecular biological pathways, in order to identify new targets for therapeutic development.

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Titles

  • Assistant Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions

Education

Degrees

  • Ph.D., National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (China) (2010)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Generally, my research has been on forefront of discovery exploring resolving amyloid structures and α-synuclein transmission mechanism.  We have applied scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to study the core-structures of amyloid peptides and distinguish amino acid sequence.  Amyloid are a series of misfolded proteins resulting in severe degenerative diseases, which are hard to crystalized for structural analysis.  We have provided novel strategies to observe amyloid structures.  Furthermore, we have the great interesting, and have studied the interaction between nanoparticles and amyloid peptides in air pollution and neurodegeneration fields. 

My major research interest is on the transmission mechanism of prion-like protein α-synuclein.  I uncovered LAG3 as a α-synuclein transmission receptor and this identification provides a new target for developing therapies designed to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related α-synucleinopathies.  We are currently under the investigation on the screening LAG3 inhibitors and LAG3 co-receptors in mouse and in human iPSC-derived dopaminergic and cortical neurons in vitro and in vivo

My laboratory employs advanced technologies in high throughput screening on inhibitors and receptors; human stem cell culture, including generation and differentiation; nanotechnology, including nano-characterization and nanomaterials.  The ultimate goal of the research is to understand the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases from the environmental factors, and cell and molecular biological pathways, in order to identify new targets for therapeutic development.

Technology Expertise Keywords

Biochemistry; Cell Biology; Molecular Biology; Biophysics; Nanoscience

Selected Publications

Xiaobo Mao, et al., Valina Dawson, Ted Dawson. Pathological α-synuclein transmission initiated by binding lymphocyte-activation gene 3, Science, 2016, 353, 1513. PMID: 27708076

Saurav Brahmachari, Preston Ge, Su Hyun Lee, Donghoon Kim, Senthilkumar Karuppagounder, Manoj Kumar, Xiaobo Mao et al., Valina L. Dawson, Ted M. Dawson, Activation of tyrosine kinase c-Abl contributes to α-synuclein-induced neurodegeneration. J. Clin. Invest., 2016, 126, 2970-2988. PMID: 27348587

Jianmin Zhang, Huaishan Wang, Omar Sherbini, Emily Ling-lin Pai, Sung-Ung Kang, Ji-Sun Kwon, Jia Yang, Wei He, Hong Wang, Stephen M.Eacker, Zhikai Chi, Xiaobo Mao, et al., Ted M. Dawson, Valina L. Dawson. High Content Genome-Wide RNAi Screen Reveals CCR3 as a Key Mediator of Neuronal Cell Death. eNeuro, 2016, ENEURO.0185-16.2016. PMID: 27822494

Xiaobo Mao et al., Sequence effects on peptide assembly characteristics observed by using scanning tunneling microscopy. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 2181-2187. PMID: 23331193

Xiaobo Mao et al., The effect of graphene oxide on conformation change, aggregation and cytotoxicity of HIV-1 regulatory protein (Vpr). , 2013, 34Biomaterials, 1383-1390. PMID: 23153418

Min Zhang, Xiaobo Mao et al., Nanomaterials for reducing amyloid cytotoxicity. Adv. Mater., 2013, 25, 3780-3801. PMID: 23722464

Xiaobo Mao et al., Beta structure motifs of islet amyloid polypeptides identified through surface-mediated assemblies. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2011, 108, 19605-19610. PMID: 22106265

Xiaobo Mao et al., Determination of relative binding affinities of labeling molecules with amino acids by using scanning tunneling microscopy. Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 10638-10640. PMID: 21869951

Xiaobo Mao et al., Binding Modes of Thioflavin T Molecules to Prion Peptide Assemblies Identified by Using Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. ACS Chem. Neurosci., 2011, 6, 281-287. PMID: 22778872

Xiaobo Mao et al., Structural Characteristics of the Beta-sheet-like Human and Rat Islet Amyloid Polypeptides as Determined by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. J. Struct. Biol., 2009, 167, 209. PMID: 19505580

Patents

A detection method for the relative adsorption constant of dye, antibody, drug and pro-drug molecules on peptides.
Patent # WO2011060598A1 & CN102062718

Identification of LAG3 as a-synuclein neuronal transmission receptor.
Patent # P13931

Activities & Honors

Honors

  • Outstanding Student Award, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (China), 2007 - 2009
  • Director's Scholarship, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology (China), 2007 - 2009
  • NIA/ADRC Johns Hopkins Pilot Project Awards, NIA/ADRC, 2016 - 2017
  • 18th Annual NINDS Udall Centers Meeting, the Best Poster Awards, NINDS Udall Centers Meeting, 2016
  • the Paul Ehrlich Research Awards, the Johns Hopkins University Young Investigator's Day, 2017

Memberships

  • American Chemical Society
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • International Society for Neurochemistry

Professional Activities

  • Guest Co-Editor, Frontier in Neurology

Videos & Media

Lectures and Presentations

  • a-Synuclein transmission mechanism.
    National, Upper Providence, PA (01/06/2017)
    GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • a-Synuclein transmission mechanism.
    National, Indianapolis, IN (11/20/2016)
    Eli Lilly and the Company
  • Pathological a-synuclein transmission initiated by binding lymphocyte-activation gene 3.
    Internal, Baltimore, MD (10/30/2016)
    Johns Hopkins University, Neurodegenerative disease journal club
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