Dr. Cao and his group investigate the effect of nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase (NAMPT) on white matter restoration and neurovascular remodeling after brain ischemia funded by NIH and the Department of Veteran Affair. He established a novel approach to convert reactive astrocytes surrounding infarct core into oligodendrocytes in situ in brain ischemia. This approach will not only convert detrimental astrocytes into beneficial oligodendrocytes, which can restore damaged white matter, but also prevent the formation of an astrocytic scar. This novel finding has been funded by the Department of Veteran Affair.
Dr. Cao is also investigating whether reprogrammed oligodendrocytes will enhance cognitive functional improvement following brain ischemia as well as white matter and neurological restoration in traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Cao has served on the Editorial Board for 16 journals.