Lei Lei

Professional Experience

Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, University of New England

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology and Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, University of New England

Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

Research Assistant Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Awards and Honors

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32), NINDS, NIH

Other Professional Activities

Member, Society for Neuroscience

Member, Society for Developmental Biology

Member, The International Association for the Study of Pain

Teaching Experience

BIO106: BIO II - Cellular and Molecular Biology

BIO407/508: Developmental Biology

BIO370: Cell Biology

BIO450/550: BIO Topics - Developmental Neurobiology



Department of Biochemistry, Michigan State University, Michigan



Department of Biology, Wuhan University, China


Post-Doctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, laboratory of Dr. Luis F. Parada





developmental biology

molecular biology

sensory neurons

neural stem cells

transgenic mice.


Current Research

role of Sox11 in chronic pain

function of Sox11 in cortical development

role of Klf7 in cortical development and neurological disorders

Research Interests

sensory neuron and chronic pain

brain development and neurological disorders

gene regulation

stem cells

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.

Other Scholarly Activity


The 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. November 10-15, 2001; San Diego, California.

1st Annual Neuroscience Symposium cosponsored by the Barrow Neurological Institute and Arizona State University.

University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine, December 6, 2012.

38th Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium, MDIBL, Salisbury Cove, Maine, April 15-16, 2011. 

Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Scarborough, Maine, February 17, 2011.

Funded Grants

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32), NINDS, NIH. Role: PI.
This proposal focuses on the identification and characterization of transcription factors that bind the mouse TrkA minimal enhancer.

The ASU/MCA Partnership for Collaborative Research Seed Grant Program. Role: PI.
This proposal focuses on the generation and characterization of an animal model to study the function of adult neural stem cells.

Arizona Biomedical Research Commission. Role: PI.
This study focuses on the role of a key transcription factor in regulating cortical development including proliferation and migration.

Research Topics

Lei Lei

Lei Lei



Associate Professor


Morgane Hall


(207) 602-2353