Hongying (Hoy) Shen

Assistant Professor, Cellular and Molecular Physiology

B.S., Nanjing University

Ph.D., Yale University

The nervous system harbors numerous metabolic enzymes and transporters that play important roles in brain physiology. However, the functions of hundreds of these, including those genetically linked to neurological and psychiatric disorders, remain poorly understood. To bridge this knowledge gap and overcome technical barriers, the Shen lab has devised a suite of mass spectrometry metabolomics-based biochemistry methods, combining in vitro activity-based metabolomics with neuronal cellular metabolomics screening, to simultaneously investigate multiple disease-associated genes in a multiplexed format. This “deorphanization” pipeline holds the promise of uncovering novel brain biochemistry governed by these orphan metabolic genes, elucidating their impact on neuronal metabolism and synaptic transmission. Focusing on disease-associated genes might yield insights into the pathologies of brain disorders and facilitate the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics.