Jay Deng, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Dr. Jay Deng
Department of Psychiatry
University of Florida College of Medicine
PO Box 100256
Gainesville, FL 32610-0256
Office: L4-171, MBI Building
Phone: 294-5047 (lab)
Email: jaydeng@ufl.edu


Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL

Research Area

My research interest is in understanding the epigenetic mechanisms of neuropsychological processes associated with drug addiction.


1989 B.A. in Zoology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
1998 M.S. in Ecology, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville.
2005 Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology, Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville.
2006-2007 Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Human Genetics, Duke University.
2007-2012 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neurobiology, Duke University.

Current Research

My current research covers two main areas: 1) the role of DNA methylation and MeCP2 in the development of drug addiction and; 2) epigenetic mechanisms of drug use-associated risk-taking behaviors. DNA methylation is the hallmark epigenetic modification that can last as long as the life of an organism. As an important neuropsychological disease (Rett Syndrome)-linked gene, MeCP2 plays important role in translating information encoded in DNA methylation into gene products to affect behaviors including drug addiction. In my research, I employ neurogenetic approaches (including optogenetics) and rodent behaviors (such as mouse intravenous self-administration, rodent decision-making tasks) to study the contribution of DNA methylation and MeCP2 to the behavioral persistence of drug addiction and other related neuropsychological disorders. In addition to these two major areas of research, I also generate antibodies (include mouse monoclonal antibody), and apply antibodies in ELISA-based (including Meso Scale Discovery platform) biomarker development for neurological disorders (such as stroke, TBI and substance abuse) and in immunocytohistology on intact tissues with CLARITY technology.

Recent Publications

Deng JV, Wan Y, Wang X, Cohen S, Wetsel WC, Greenberg ME, Kenny PJ, Nicole Calakos, and West AE. MeCP2 phosphorylation limits psychostimulant-induced behavioral and neuronal plasticity. Journal of Neuroscience. 2014 Mar 26; 34(13):4519-27.

Hutchinson AN, Deng JV, Cohen S, and West AE. Phosphorylation of MeCP2 at Ser421 contributes to chronic antidepressant action. Journal of Neuroscience. 2012 Oct 10;32(41): 14355-63.

Gadalla KK, Bailey ME, Spike R, Ross P, Woodard KT, Kalburgi SN, Bachaboin L, Deng JV, West AE, Samulski RJ, Gray SJ, and Cobb SR. Improved Survival and Reduced Phenotypic Severity Following AAV9/MECP2 Gene Transfer to Neonatal and Juvenile Male Mecp2 Knockout Mice. Molecular Therapy. 2013 Jan;21(1):18-30.

Hutchinson AN, Deng JV, Dipendra KA, Wetsel WC, and West AE. Differential regulation of MeCP2 phosphorylation in the CNS by dopamine and serotonin. Neuropsychopharmacology, 2012 Jan; 37(2):321-37.

Deng JV, Rodriguiz RM, Hutchinson AN, Il-Hwan Kim, Wetsel WC, and West AE. MeCP2 in the Nucleus Accumbens contributes to neural and behavioral responses to psychostimulants. Nature Neuroscience. 2010 Sep; 13(9): 1128-1136.