Jai-Yoon Sul, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Research Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Department: Pharmacology

Contact information
89 John Morgan
3610 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: (215) 573-2891
Lab: (215) 573-8284
B.A. (Biology)
Taejon University, Taejon Korea, 1993.
M.A. (Biology)
Sogang University, Seoul Korea, 1995.
Ph.D (Physiology)
King's College, University of London, 1999.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

My research is mainly focused on how we can manipulate biological molecules to elucidate their function under physiological and pathophysiological states in mouse brain by means of optical imaging. Recent progress in biomedical fields from genomics to connectomics requires a high level of spatio-temporal resolution imaging to record physiological activity in single cells and intact tissues. Rapid progress in biophotonics has widened the understanding of many biological events and has lead to the discovery of new unrevealed functions in conjunction with other advanced existing molecular biological technologies. Optical methodologies have capabilities including single cell level imaging in tissue and long-term imaging with variety of fluorescence molecules. We are using single photon and multiphoton lasers in combination with a wide variety of compound microscopy techniques ranging from epifluorescence to spectral resolving confocal microscopy for minimal invasive imaging and the manipulation of biological activities in vitro and in vivo.

To understand brain function, our approaches to characterizing neuronal function begins from a close examination of the dendrite, as it is not only as a neuronal signal sensor but an active participant in the functional modulation of neuronal proteomics. We begin with diffraction limited high resolution imaging of small dendritic regions, and can extend our study to whole cellular level physiological dynamics simply by changing a lens to generate building blocks for the systematic understanding of in vivo brain function.

Recently, by combining molecular biology and optical techniques, we have developed methods for to manipulate regionally specific gene expression to identify a novel function of the transcription factor, Elk-1 in neuronal cell death and to show its potential role in human neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. In close collaboration in the pharmacology department, we are developing novel ways of understanding cellular phenotype and directly converting one neuronal cell to another cell type. Our efforts to understand brain function based on optical imaging including the use of state of art FRET, FRAP, phototransfection, uncaging, single protein imaging and phenotype transfer.
back to top
Last updated: 12/05/2017
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania