Department of Biology
College of Natural Sciences
Phone: (808) 956-6682
Fax: (808) 956-4745
I am interested in the evolutionary mechanisms that generate "adaptive" function in animals. I am currently using the Mexican tetra cavefish, as a model system to resolve the relationship among genome, developmental changes, morphological/physiological shifts, behavioral adaptation and ecology. Recently we expand our research field to address the etiology of a complex psychiatric disease, autism. We found systemic parallels between cavefish and autistic patients at the level of core autism behaviors, genetics, epigenetics, drug responses, gut microbiota composition.
Gut microbiota is an emerging systemic mechanism associated with autism. We will contribute c-MAIKI by determining the beneficial micro-organism that can mitigate autism.
IMPACT TO HAWAII
Under the collaboration with the local autism physician, Dr. Ryan Lee, we will develop alternative treatment for autism through diet-supplement and/or ingesting microorganism