Bei Laboratory

Fengfeng Bei, PhD

Principal Investigator
Department of Neurosurgery
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School

Telephone: (857) 307-5231
Address: Brigham and Women's Hospital
Building for Transformative Medicine
8th Floor, 8016
60 Fenwood Road
Boston, MA 02115


We seek to understand why adult human brain circuits cannot regenerate their connections after damage. In particular, we focus on studying axons, the often long processes of neurons that serve as signaling wires. We ask two main questions:

  1. Why axons in the mammalian central nervous system cannot regenerate after transection, as it occurs after brain and spinal cord injury, as well as during many neurodegenerative diseases;
  2. If transected axons could be engineered to regrow, whether and how they can re-connect with their targets and re-establish neural circuits that have functional benefits.

Our current research applies mouse genetics, viral tools, imaging techniques, electrophysiological analysis and behavioral assessment. Current projects include attempts to regenerate optic nerve axons to restore vision and brain-spinal cord projecting axons for treating spinal cord injury.

Selected Publications

1. Duan X*, Qiao M*, Bei F*, Kim IJ, He Z, Sanes JR (2015). Subtype-specific regeneration of retinal ganglion cells following axotomy: effects of osteopontin and mTOR signaling. Neuron 85(6):1244-1256. (* co-first author)

2. Bei F*, Lee HH* , Liu X, Gunner G, Jin H, Ma L, Wang C, Hou L, Hensch TK, Frank E, Sanes JR, Chen C, Fagiolini M, He Z (2016). Restoration of visual function by enhancing conduction in regenerated axons. Cell 164(1-2):219-232.


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