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Jianli Sun, Ph.D.

Jianli Sun

Associate Professor

Email: jianlisun [at] desu.edu


  • B.S., Biology
  • M.S., Physiology
  • Ph.D., Neurobiology & Neuroscience, Fudan University, 2005

Research Interests

My research is focus on studying the defects of neural network of cerebellum in the mouse models of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) with the combination of several cutting-edge techniques including electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, MRI, and single cell RNA sequencing. SMA was considered as a lower motor neuron disease. However, the ubiquitous property of the disease cause protein, the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, has driven it to become recently recognized as a multisystem disease.

My lab is one of the first few labs in the field to elucidate the structural and functional defects in the cerebellum of SMA mice. We are the first to report the structural and functional cerebellar defects and selective Purkinje cell degeneration in cerebellum in 2023. This study is supported by a R15 gran awarded by NINDS in 2022. Continuing research will study the mechanisms of selective degeneration of Purkinje cells in SMA cerebellum