Gong Lab
Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine, UC Davis Health


Olfactory epithelium is constantly exposed to environmental microbes. It is also a critical interface between the environment and the brain. The olfactory sensory neurons located in the olfactory epithelium connect with the brain directly, via the olfactory nerve, within a short distance. The understanding of how olfactory epithelium reacts to viral pathogens and acts as a preventive barrier to protect the brain are lacking. Olfactory system is known to be one of the most vulnerable systems in neurodegenerative diseases. Olfactory loss is often the early manifestation. The interconnections between olfactory epithelium and brain neuroinflammatory events are one of the lab's focuses. Our lab is also interested in the molecular mechanisms regulating olfactory system development as well as pathogenesis in neurodegenerative disease models. We use mouse models and combine with current molecular genetics, genomics, and imaging approaches to investigate innate immune capacity and neuroinflammatory responses in the olfactory system.


Viral infection in the mouse olfactory mucosa, by Abdullah Al Tekreeti