Lei Lei


  • Ph.D, Michigan State University, 1998


In July, 2010, I joined the faculty of the Department of Biology and Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences at UNE. Among the courses I have taught at UNE are Developmental Biology and Developmental Neurobiology. My research focuses on the role of gene regulation in neural development and neurological disorders. Our laboratory use a combination of mouse genetics (transgenic, knockout, and conditional knockout), molecular biology (gene cloning, PCR, qRT-PCR, microarray, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, etc.), histology, and behavioral analyses to examine the roles of two key transcription factors, Klf7 and Sox11, in: 1) development of the primary afferent sensory neurons and chronic pain; 2) development of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus and neurological disorders. Positions are available for prospective students.

Research Interests

I am interested in regulation of gene expression and its role in development and diseases. I use a combination of molecular, biochemical, and genetic approaches to examine the function of transcription factors in nerve regeneration, neuropathic pain, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Selected Publications

  • Burman, M.A., Simmons, C.A., Hughes, M., and Lei, L. (2014) Developing and validating trace fear conditioning protocols in C57BL/6 mice. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 222, 111-7.
  • Wang, Y., Lin, L., Lai, H., Parada, L.F., and Lei, L.* (2013). Transcription factor Sox11 is essential for both embryonic and adult neurogenesis. Developmental Dynamics 242, 638-53. *Corresponding author.
  • Lin, L., Lee, V., Wang, Y., Lin, J., Sock, E., Wegner, M., and Lei, L.* (2011). Sox11 regulates survival and axonal growth of embryonic sensory neurons. Developmental Dynamics 240, 52-64. *Corresponding author.
  • Romero, M., Lin, L., Lush, M., Lei, L., Parada, L.F., and Zhu, Y. (2007).  Deletion of Nf1 in neurons induces increased axon collateral branching after dorsal root injury. Journal of Neuroscience 27, 2124-2134.
  • Lei, L.*, and Parada, L.F. (2007). Transcriptional regulation of Trk family neurotrophin receptors (Invited review).  Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 64, 522-532.  * Corresponding author.
  • Lei, L., Zhou, J., Lin, L., and Parada, L.F. (2006).  Brn3a and Klf7 cooperate to control TrkA expression in sensory neurons.  Developmental Biology 300, 758-769.
  • Lei, L., Laub, F., Lush, M., Romero, M., Zhou, J., Luikart, B., Klesse, L., Ramirez, F., and Parada, L.F. (2005).  The zinc finger transcription factor Klf7 is required for TrkA gene expression and development of nociceptive sensory neurons. Genes & Development 19, 1354-1364.
  • Laub, F., Lei, L., Sumiyoshi, H., Kajimura, D., Dragomir, C., Smaldone, S., Puche, A.C., Petros, T.J., Mason, C., Parada, L.F., and Ramirez, F. (2005).  Transcription factor KLF7 is important for neuronal morphogenesis in selected regions of the nerv¬ous system. Molecular and Cellular Biology 25, 5699-5711.
  • Ma, L., Lei, L., Eng, S.R., Turner, E., and Parada, L.F. (2003).  Brn3a regulation of TrkA/NGF receptor expression in developing sensory neurons.  Development 130, 3525-3534.
  • Lei, L., Ma, L., Nef, S., Thai, T., and Parada, L.F. (2001). mKlf7, a potential transcriptional regulator of trkA nerve growth factor receptor expression in sensory and sympathetic neurons.  Development 128, 1147-1158.
  • Lei, L., Ren, D., and Burton, Z.F. (1999). The RAP74 subunit of human transcription factor IIF has similar roles in initiation and elongation. Molecular and Cellular Biology 19, 8372-8382.
  • Ren, D., Lei, L., and Burton, Z.F. (1999).  A region within the RAP74 subunit of human transcription factor IIF is critical for initiation but dispensable for complex assembly.  Molecular and Cellular Biology 19, 7377-7387.
  • Lei, L., Ren, D., Finkelstein, A., and Burton, Z.F. (1998).  Functions of the N- and C-terminal domains of human RAP74 in initiation, elongation, and recycling of RNA polymerase II.  Molecular and Cellular Biology 18, 2130-2142.
  • Wang, B.Q., Lei, L., and Burton, Z.F. (1994).  Importance of codon preference for production of human RAP74 and reconstitution of the RAP30/74 complex.  Protein Expression  and Purification 5, 476-485