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Since 2019, the INADcure Foundation has collaborated with Dr. Hugo Bellen and Dr. Guang Lin at the Bellen Lab, located within Baylor College of Medicine. This partnership has been pivotal in advancing our understanding of INAD. Through grant-funded research, considerable strides have been made in unraveling the molecular function and underlying mechanisms of this disease. Their investigations have explored potential therapeutic strategies, including modulating retromer, sphingolipid, and endolysosomal pathways in fibroblasts of INAD patients and developing AAV-based gene therapy approaches for INAD in mice models. These efforts resulted in a 2023 publication titled “Exploring therapeutic strategies for infantile neuronal axonal dystrophy (INAD/PARK14),” making their findings and insights accessible to the wider scientific community and underscoring the importance of this collaborative work in the ongoing effort to find a cure for INAD.

Photo of Guang Lin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine

Guang Lin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Baylor College of Medicine


Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am currently serving as an Assistant Professor in Dr. Hugo Bellen’s lab at Baylor College of Medicine, where my research revolves around uncovering novel molecular pathways involved in the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA). Specifically, my investigations primarily focus on three key genes: PLA2G6, GBA, and frataxin, which are associated with INAD, Parkinsonism, and FRDA, respectively. By utilizing Drosophila genetics, I aim to unravel the underlying mechanisms behind the phenotypic manifestations observed upon the loss of these genes. To validate these findings, I further investigate vertebrate cell lines, mouse models, as well as patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons. Through these studies, I have uncovered novel mechanisms regulated by these genes, which may play a pivotal role in the clinical pathology associated with these neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, I have identified several promising drugs that exhibit the ability to mitigate the neurodegenerative defects observed in fly models of the aforementioned diseases.

When did you first decide you wanted to work with rare diseases? Please share what led to that decision.
One day after defending my PhD thesis, my wife and I received the devastating news that our 4-year-old son had a tumor on his chin. This unexpected diagnosis plunged us into a six-month journey of visiting hospitals in search of confirmation and a cure. Thankfully, over the course of the following year, the tumor gradually shrank. This personal experience exposed me to the immense pain and helplessness parents with sick children face. Motivated by this experience, I made a heartfelt decision to dedicate my efforts and knowledge towards rare childhood diseases, aiming to make a meaningful difference in the lives of sick children and their parents.

What do you do to relax (or have fun)?
I love BBQ.

If you could have a lifetime supply of anything, what would it be?
I aspire to secure consistent attention and funding support from federal funding agencies and pharmaceutical companies throughout my career, allowing me to dedicate my efforts to the study of rare childhood diseases.

Last (or Best) book read?
Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To cure diseases

Help us on our mission of finding a cure for INAD/PLAN.