The overarching goal of Hyejung Won’s laboratory is to integrate genomics approaches with basic neurobiology to develop a more systematic understanding of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders.
During her graduate studies, Hyejung conducted research revealing underlying mechanisms of neurodevelopmental conditions using genetically modified mice. She studied the Shank2 knockout mouse model of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) model and found that mGluR5 positive allosteric modulators could ameliorate many of the behavioral phenotypes, including social deficits.
Won went on to do postdoctoral studies in Dan Geschwind’s laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. Here, she established Hi-C, a genome-wide chromatin conformation capturing technology and obtained Hi-C sequencing results from developing and adult human brains.
She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Genetics at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her laboratory tries to leverage this genome-wide approach to bridge the gap between genetic risk factors and neurobiological mechanisms by mapping genetic variants of unknown function to the genes that they regulate and identifying how dysfunctional gene regulation contributes to disease pathogenesis.