Jacque IpAssistant Professor

B.Sc., Ph.D.

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Biography

Prof. IP Pak Kan Jacque (葉栢勤) obtained his B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Sydney with first class honours and university medal, and then received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Prof. Ip received further post-doctoral training at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During his postgraduate study and postdoctoral training, he received a number of awards including the Croucher Studentship, George K Lee Scholarship, the Sir Edward Youde Memorial fellowship, the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) Rita Levi-Montalcini Research fellowship, and Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Long-Term fellowship. His work has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals including Science, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Review Neuroscience, Molecular Psychiatry, and the Journal of Neuroscience. Prof. Ip has devoted his research to investigate the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, and will continue to expand his research focus on how such mechanistic defects result in autism-related disorders through the use of multidisciplinary approaches. The foundation of his research builds on bridging the gaps between disciplines, particularly in molecular and system neuroscience, and also the gap between neurobiological research and problems in human medicine. His long-term goal is to apply multidisciplinary cutting-edge neurotechnology to probe brain function in health and disease.

  1. Neuronal circuits in our brain are known to be plastic and are subject to experience-driven changes causing neurons to modify their functional connectivity and responses. Plasticity refers to the ability of the neuron to reorganize its synaptic connections and functions in response to alterations in sensory experience or learning. However, the synaptic mechanisms underlying such plasticity have yet to be resolved.
  2. With recent advances in cutting-edge techniques in molecular genetics, synaptic tagging, and high resolution two-photon imaging in vivo, it is now possible to study functional properties and structural changes at the level of dendritic spines in vivo. The overarching goal of my research program is to reveal roles of synaptic plasticity in vivo in health and disease.
  3. One line of research will address how disruption of specific genes impact the functioning of cortical circuits and its relationship with autism-related disorders that cause a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment.
  1. El-Boustani, S.#, Ip, J.P.#, Breton-Provencher, V., Okuno, H., Bito, H. & Sur, M. (2018). Locally coordinated synaptic plasticity shapes cell-wide plasticity of visual cortex neurons in vivo. Science, Vol. 360, Issue 6395, pp. 1349-1354.

    Press release
    Selected media coverage

  2. Ip, J.P.#, Nagakura, I.#, Petravicz, J., Wiemer, E.A.C. & Sur, M. (2018). Major vault protein, a candidate gene in 16p11.2 microdeletion syndrome, is required for the homeostatic regulation of visual cortical plasticity. Journal of Neuroscience, 18;38(16):3890-3900.

    Press release
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  3. Mellios, N.#, Feldman, D.#, Sheridan, S.D.#, Ip, J.P.#, Kwok, S., Rosen, B., Li, Y., Crawford, B., Jaenisch, R., Haggarty, S. & Sur, M. (2018). MeCP2-regulated miRNAs control early human neurogenesis through differential effects on ERK and AKT signaling. Molecular Psychiatry, 23(4):1051-1065.

    Featured image:
    Human cerebral organoids reveal deficits in neurogenesis and neuronal migration in MeCP2-deficient neural progenitors. Molecular Psychiatry. 2018 Apr; 23(4):791.

  4. Ip, J.P.#, Shi, L.#, Chen, Y., Itoh, Y., Fu, A. W., Betz, A., Yung, W. H., Gotoh, Y., Fu, A. K. & Ip, N. Y. (2012) α2-chimaerin controls neuronal migration and functioning of cerebral cortex through CRMP-2. Nature Neuroscience, (15) 39–47 (F1000 3 stars)

    Press release
    Selected media coverage

  5. Ip, J.P., Mellios, N., & Sur, M. (2018). Rett Syndrome: genetic, molecular and functional insights into multi-stage dysfunction. Nature Review Neuroscience, 19(6):368-382. Review.
  6. # Co-first author