Associate Professor Chao Deng
BSc, MSc, PhD
- Associate Professor
- Head, Antipsychotic Research Laboratory
Teaching and coordinating:
- Honours and postgraduate research student supervision
(1) investigate neuropharmacological mechanisms of antipsychotic drugs underlying their pharmacological efficacy and side-effects, and test a H1 receptor agonist in the prevention of olanzapine-induced obesity in animal trails; (2) to reveal the in vivo mechanisms underlying the clinical efficacy and reduced side-effects of the functionally selective antipsychotic drug, aripiprazole; (3) the neural mechanisms for the regulation of body weight in the brainstem, in particular the roles of the brainstem in the development of obesity.
(1) Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with approximately 2000 new cases reported annually in Australia alone. Pharmacological intervention using antipsychotics plays a key role in the treatment of the disease. However, the mechanisms of both schizophrenia and antipsychotic drugs are largely unknown. (2) Furthermore, antipsychotics induce a significant side-effect of weight gain/obesity. ‘Functional selectivity’ is a novel pharmacological mechanism whereby a ligand can activate divergent signalling pathways through a single receptor, and therefore provides a route to separate the desired therapeutic from the undesired side-effects. (3) We are facing an epidemic of obesity and related health problems. Identifying the key target sites in the brain that regulate energy balance will assist in the development of effective medical treatments for obesity.
Approach and expected outcome:
We have established animal models for studying neuropharmocology of antipsychotics and its obesity side-effects. We also established an in vivo model to study the novel mechanisms underlying ‘functional selectivity’. Our research will provide important information for improving pharmacological efficacy and reducing obesity-side effects of antipsychotic drugs, which may lead to clinic trails. In addition, using both antipsychotic-induced obese and diet-induced obese animal models, we are studying brainstem regulation of weight gain (obesity).
Research Grants 2010/2011:
- NHMRC Project Grant 2011-2013, Chao Deng, $359,182 “Understanding the mechanisms of functionally selective antipsychotic drugs: Implications for new generation antipsychotic drugs”
- NHMRC Project Grant 2010-2012, Xu-Feng Huang and Chao Deng: $399,25“Schizophrenia: Prevention and Treatment of Atypical Antipsychotic Drug-Induced Obesity”
- University of Wollongong, URC Near Miss Grant 2011, Deng C, $20,000 “Revealing molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic efficacy and side-effects of antipsychotic drugs”
- NHMRC Equipment Grant 2010, Chao Deng, Xu-Feng Huang, Kelly Newell, Yinghua Yu, Mei Han, Francesca Fernandez: $9,300 “Precellys 24 Tissue Homogenizer and Digital Microplate Shaker”
- University of Wollongong, Research Infrastructure Block Grant 2010: Xu-Feng Huang, Elisabeth Frank, Jiezhong Chen, Chao Deng, etc. $70,000 “Molecular pathology infrastructure: RT-PCR system and film processor”
- University of Wollongong, Research Infrastructure Block Grant: Weihua Li, Kiet Tieu, Chao Deng, et al. $77,000, “Micro particle image velocimetry system”
Searchable RIS publications from 2000 to date
Top 5 publications:
- Han M, Huang X-F, Deng C. (2009) Aripiprazole differentially affects mesolimbic and nigrostriatal dopaminergic transmission: implications for long-term drug efficacy and low extrapyramidal side-effects. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 12: 941–952
- Weston-Green K, Huang X-F, Han M, Deng C. (2008) The effects of antipsychotics on the density of cannabinoid receptors in the dorsal vagal complex of rats: Implications for olanzapine-induced weight gain. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 11:827-825
- Han M., Deng C, Burne THJ, Newell K, and Huang X-F. (2008) Short- and long-term effects of antipsychotic drug treatment on weight gain and H1 receptor expression. Psychoneuroendocrinology 33:569-580.
- Rahardjo GL, Huang XF, Tan YY, and Deng C. (2007) Decreased plasma PYY accompanied by an elevated PYY and Y2 receptor binding sites in the medulla oblongata of diet-induced obese mice. Endocrinology 148: 4704-
- Deng, C and Huang, X-F. (2005) Decreased Density of Muscarinic Receptors in the Superior Temporal Gyrus in Schizophrenia. Journal of Neuroscience Research 81:883-890
Phone: +61 (02) 4221 4934
News & Media
Mark Solomons, a member of the School of Health Sciences first MSC Occupational Hygiene Practice graduating class (2010) recently took out the coveted Dräger Safety Pacific Young Hygienist Award. He will attend the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) conference in 2013 with associated visits to Europe. Mark is a Senior Occupational Hygienist at BHP Billiton Roxby Downs Olympic Dam and was also the first UOW MSc OHP graduate to gain Certified Occupational Hygienist (COH) status in 2011.