Hing Cheong Lee, Ph.D
I was a recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship from AES in 2007. I am thankful for this award because it enabled me to begin my study on an important brain molecule which is highly associated with the inhibitory system in the brain. This award also plays an important role in shaping my career in the field of epilepsy research. Basic research on epilepsy has focused on an imbalance of neuronal network synchronization. However, the fundamental etiology of epilepsy may be due to an altered intrinsic property of neurons - transmembrane chloride potential - which is regulated by a chloride transporter called KCC2. With this award I have embarked on a series of investigation which led to a fundamental understanding on how KCC2 is regulated in neurons and the impact of its deficiency on neuronal inhibition.
I am now in the third year of my post-doctoral training. I have extended my work to gain an understanding of molecular mechanisms in brain plasticity during postnatal development in mice. In particular, I am interested in how epilepsy in early life might play a role in brain plasticity that persisted throughout adulthood. My current research is collaboration with a hospital therefore it has potential to translate into clinical applications. I envisioned that one day in the near future, our knowledge on basic epilepsy research can be applied as a remedy in patients suffering from epilepsy. The quality of life of many epilepsy patients can be significantly improved. The tremendous intellectual and monetary supports from AES will inevitably have a great impact on the future development of epilepsy research and our society.
Hing Cheong Lee, Ph.D.
Children’s Hospital of Boston