Project Title: Proteomic signatures of synaptic vulnerability and resilience in Alzheimer’s Disease
Supervisor: Dr Samuel Barnes
Location: Level 5, Burlington Danes Building, Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, W12 0NN

About Me

I am a PhD student in Dr. Samuel Barnes’ group with a research focus on the synaptic changes related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). 

I graduated from China Medical University with a master’s degree in clinical medicine. In my previous study I have developed a strong interest on neuroscientific research, especially on AD, and therefore I am eagerly to pursue a PhD on this field. Here at Imperial College London, my project aims to find out the proteomic signatures relevant to the vulnerability and resilience of synapses in AD pathogenesis by utilizing both super-resolution and multiplexing strategies.


  • Bachelor of Medicine in Clinical Medicine, China Medical University
  • Master of Medicine in Clinical Medicine (Internal Medicine), China Medical University

Research Interests 

Synaptic alterations play a critical role in the development of AD. However, the limited size and the complex protein composition of synaptic puncta make them challengeable to be investigated, and the molecular identities for synaptic vulnerability or resilience in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. 

To address this issue, super-resolution strategies such as expansion microscopy as well as multiplexing techniques such as Imaging Mass Cytometry (IMC) and cycle immunofluorescence (cycle-IF) are utilized in my project to explore the proteomic changes of synapses in AD. Specifically, expansion microscopy enables the uniform enlargement of tissue specimen in each dimension for about 4 folds to overcome the resolution limit of conventional optical microscopes; IMC screens up to 35 protein markers in one scan by utilizing metal-tagged antibodies; cycle-IF shows the expression of interested proteins with better Z-resolution. These techniques, together with in vivo studies such as 2-photon calcium imaging on mouse models, will shed light on understanding the mechanisms underlying synaptic alterations in AD and subsequently identify potential therapeutic targets for dementia. 

Selected publications

Wang X, Zheng W. Ca2+ homeostasis dysregulation in Alzheimer's disease: a focus on plasma membrane and cell organelles. FASEB J. 2019 Jun;33(6):6697-6712. doi: 10.1096/fj.201801751R

Wang X, Li W, Zhou J, et al. Smoking and sleep apnea duration mediated the sex difference in daytime sleepiness in OSA patients. Sleep Breath. 2021 Mar;25(1):289-297. doi: 10.1007/s11325-020-02109-x

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