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Dr. Wu received his Ph.D. from University of California Medical School in San Francisco and later was trained under Nobel Laureate, Dr. Paul Boyer at UCLA. He was on the faculty first at City of Hope National Medical Center, then at Baylor College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Milton Hershey College of Medicine and University of Kansas where he also served as Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology before he joined FAU as Senior Schmidt Fellow and Professor in 2002. His research was supported by a combination of national, state and private funding agencies including National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, State of Florida, American Heart Association, Huntington’s Chorea Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Marion Merrell Dow Foundation.
Dr. Wu’s research focuses on the fundamental principle underlying the normal brain function as well as brain diseases. Dr. Wu’s group has focused on two of the most abundant neurotransmitters in human brain, namely glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Dr. Wu’s group is the first one to isolate, purify and characterize the GABA synthesizing enzyme which has laid the foundation for subsequent elucidation of neuronal circuitry using GABA as a neurotransmitter. Because of this ground breaking work, Dr. Wu was credited as one of the most cited scientists according to Institute of Scientific Information in 2002. In addition to basic research, Dr. Wu has also been very active in translational research. Dr. Wu has used mechanism-based approach to develop therapeutic intervention for various brain diseases including stroke and Parkinson diseases. Some of Dr. Wu’s discoveries were recognized and patents were issued by the U.S. Patent Office including treatment for Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.