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Featured Profile: Shinghua Ding

Shinghua Ding

University of Missouri bioengineer Dr. Shinghua Ding studies nerve cells to prevent and treat stroke.

Ding focuses on astrocytes, a type of cell found throughout the central nervous system that plays a part in cellular communication. In his early career, Ding played a major role in a team who discovered that, following an epileptic seizure, calcium ions in astrocytes trigger flooding of a substance called glutamate – overstimulating and killing neurons. The scientists also demonstrated that inhibiting the release of calcium limited this damage, – a finding that created a new avenue for epilepsy treatments.

Supported by the National Institute of Health and American Heart Association, Ding now investigates cell death and brain damage in ischemia, which occurs as a result of obstructed blood vessels in the brain. Ischemia accounts for nearly 90 percent of all strokes, but currently there is only one FDA-approved drug. Using different techniques including fluorescence imaging and transgenic mice, Ding studies brain tissue in mice to see what molecular pathways affect brain damage after brain stroke. He hopes his work will provide insights into the causes of neurodegeneration and suggest new treatments.

Ding’s work has been published in leading scientific journals. He is also a frequent invited speaker at conferences.

Dr. Shinghua Ding is an associate professor of bioengineering in the College of Engineering and an investigator at Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.

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Related Initiative(s):
One Health/One Medicine