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Fengfeng Bei, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Neurosurgery
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School


We seek to understand why damaged brain circuits cannot regenerate their connections and repair themselves. We study this question in a range of model systems, using standard molecular and histological tools, electrophysiological assessment, behavioral analysis, as well as novel AAV gene therapy approaches and transplantation strategies.

Our current projects include attempts to repair the optic nerve axons to restore vision, to regenerate the brain-spinal cord projecting axons for treating paralysis, and to develop effective AAV gene therapy tools for overcoming the blood-brain barrier.


  • Norsworthy M*, Bei F*†, Kawaguchi R, Wang C, Wang Q, Li Y, Tran N, Brommer B, Zhang Y, Sanes JR, Coppola G†, He Z† (2017). Sox11 expression promotes regeneration of some retinal ganglion cell types but kills others. Neuron 94(6) 1112-1120. (* co-first author, † co-senior author)


  • 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.


  • Bei F, and He Z (2016). Intrinsic neuronal mechanisms in axon regeneration after spinal cord injury. In Translational Neuroscience, M.H. Tuszynski, ed. (New York: Springer US).


  • 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)
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