Yun Yung, PhD

2009 Mentored Young Investigator Award Recipient

TITLE: Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute

STUDY TITLE: LPA signaling in hydrocephalus.



At the time of his grant, Yun Yung was a graduate student at the Scripps Research Institute. In 2010, Yun completed his dissertation and has since been promoted from a postdoctoral fellow to a research associate. Dr. Yung received an A.B. in neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Yung’s study aimed to determine the role of the small lipid, lysophosphatidic acid or LPA, that has been identified as a cause of fetal hydrocephalus (FH) in mice. The study explored whether there is a critical period during brain development in which intracranial bleeding is likely to lead to hydrocephalus. In addition, the study tested whether pharmacological blockade of LPA receptors in the brain can ameliorate FH. The researchers were able to show that FH occurred mainly through LPA1 signaling pathway. The researchers propose that the LPA1 signaling pathway is a molecular mechanism that may account for the observation linking prenatal bleeding and FH. They hypothesize that high concentration of LPA leads to the activation of LPA receptors expressed by neural progenitor cells, which in turn activate other intracellular signaling to produce disorganization and thinning of the cortical layers and, ultimately, FH.

MENTOR: Jerold Chun, MD, PhD