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Administration Basic Sciences Clinical Sciences Centers of Excellence


Ya-Ping Tang, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

MEB - Medical Education Building
1901 Perdido Street, Room 6110
New Orleans, LA  70112
Phone:  (504) 568-2012
Fax:  (504) 568-4392



BS Medicine - 1982
Luzhou Medical College, Sichun, China

Clinical MD Internal Medicine, Neurology - 1983
Fushun County Hospital, Sichun, China

MD Behavioral Pharmacology - 1989
Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai, China

PhD Neurobiology & Molecular Biology - 1998
Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan

Research Interests

The research program in Dr. Tang's lab is Mouse Behavioral Genetics.  The long-term goal of this program is to understand the roles of genes in cognitive functions such as learning and memory, as well as the role of gene mutations or variants in the pathogenesis of certain brain diseases with memory deficits such as Alzheimer's disease or mental disabilities such as anxiety and depression. A significant advantage in this lab is the combination of multiple disciplinary approahces including molecular biology,  synaptic morphology, mouse genetics, electrophysiology (collaborating with our colleagues), and mouse behavior in their studies.  Moreover, the use of conditional genetic approaches in this lab allows a time-dependent and/or neuronal cell types/brain region-specific analysis of gene function at different levels, which provide a better insight into the mechanism of cognitive function and brain diseases. Currently, this lab is focusing on three main research topics:  synaptic stability in memory consolidation, tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease, neural circuitry-based mechanism for depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Selected Publications

Joseph A, Chen Q, Tang M, Mamiya T, Jiao J, Gong B, Xiong X, Yu N, Yang LL, Xu TL, Zhuo M, Tang YP (2015?) Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a gatekeeper for learning and memory. (Revision).

Joseph A, Chen Q, Tang M, Mamiya T, Li X, Jiao J, Xiong X, Yu N, Luo Y, Tang YP (2015?) Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a gatekeeper for behaviors in response to stress. (Revision).

Zhang J, Hu M, Teng Z, Tang YP, Chen C (2014) Synaptic and cognitive improvements by inhibition of 2-AG metabolism are through upregulation of MicroRNA-188-3p in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. J Neurosci 34: 14919-33.

Cheng L, Hattori E, Nakajima A, Woehrle NS, Opal MD, Zhang C, Grennan K, Dulawa SC, Tang YP, Gershon ES, Liu C (2014) Expression of the G72/G30 gene in transgenic mice induces behavioral changes. Mol Psychiatry 19: 175-83.

Chen R, Zhang J, Fan N, Teng ZQ, Wu Y, Yang H, Tang YP, Sun H, Song Y, Chen C (2013) Δ(9)-THC-caused synaptic and memory impairments are mediated through COX-2 signaling. Cell 155:1154-65.

Joseph A, Tang M, Mamiya T, Chen Q, Yang LL, Jiao J, Yu N, Tang YP (2013) Temporal association of elevated cholecystokininergic tone and adolescent trauma is critical for posttraumatic stress disorder-like behavior in adult mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110: 6589-94.

Tang MX, Joseph A, Tang YP (2012) Interaction between CCKergic system and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis system in response to early-life stress. Glucocorticoids (book chapter) 21-40.

Chen R, Zhang J, Wu Y, Wang D, Feng G, Tang YP, Chen C (2012) Monoacylglycerol lipase is a therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease. Cell Rep 2: 1329-39.

He H, Mahnke AH, Doyle S, Fan N, Wang CC, Hall BJ, Tang YP, Inglis FM, Chen C, and Erickson JD (2012) Neurodevelopmental role for VGLUT2 in pyramidal neuron plasticity, dendritic refinement, and in special learning. J Neurosci 32: 15886-901.

Sun XY, Hayashi Y, Xu S, Kanou Y, Takagishi Y, Tang YP, Murata Y (2011) Inactivation of the Rcan2 gene in mice ameliorates the age- and diet-induced obesity by causing a reduction in food intake. PLoS ONE 6: e-14605.

Chen Q, Tang M, Mamiya T, Im HI, Xiong X, Joseph A, Tang YP (2010) Bi-directional effect of cholecystokinin receptor-2 overexpression on stress-triggered fear memory and anxiety in the mouse. PLoS ONE 5: e-15999.

Kraig R, Mitchell HM, Christie-Pope B, Kunkler PE, White DM, Tang YP, Langan G (2010) TNF-α and microglial hormetic involvement in neurological health & migraine. Dose Response18: 389-413.

Im HI, Nakajima A, Goon B, Xiong X, Mamiya T, Gershon ES, Zhuo M, Tang YP (2009) Post-training dephosphorylation of eEF-2 promotes protein synthesis for memory consolidation. PLoS ONE 4: e7424.

Chen Q, Nakajima A, Choi S-H, Xiong XL, Tang YP (2008) Loss of presenilin function causes Alzheimer’s disease-like neurodegeneration in the mouse. J Neurosci Res 86: 1615-25.

Jiao J, Nakajima A, Janssen WG, Bindokas VP, Xiong X, Morrison JH, Brorson JR, Tang YP (2008) Expression of NR2B in cerebellar granule cells specifically facilitates effect of motor training on motor learning. PLoS ONE 3: e1684.

Chen Q, Nakajima A, Choi S-H, Xiong X, Sisodia SS, Tang YP (2008) Adult neurogenesis is functionally associated with AD-like neurodegeneration. Neurobiol Dis 29: 316-26.

Cao X, Cui Z, Feng R, Tang YP, Qin Z, Mei B, Tsien JZ (2007) Preservation of superior learning and memory function in NR2B transgenic mice during ageing. Eur J Neurosci 25: 1815-22.

Chen Q, Nakajima A, Meacham C, Tang YP (2006) Elevated cholecystokininergic tone constitutes an important molecular/neuronal mechanism for the expression of anxiety in the mouse. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103: 3881-6.

Kim SH, Tang YP, Sisodia SS (2006) Abeta star: a light onto synaptic dysfunction? Nat Med (comment) 12: 760-1.

Lazaroy O, Robinson J, Tang YP, Hairston IS, Korade-Mirnics Z, Lee VM, Hersh LB, Sapolsky RM, Mirnics K, Sisodia SS (2005) Environmental enrichment reduces Abeta levels and amyloid deposition in transgenic mice. Cell 120: 701-13.

Nakajima A, Tang YP (2005) Genetic approaches to the molecular/neuronal mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the mouse. J Pharmacol Sci (review) 99: 1-5.

Wang H, Shimizu E, Tang YP, Cho M, Kyin M, Zuo W, Robinson DA, Alaimo PJ, Zhang C, Morimoto H, Zhuo M, Feng R, Shokat KM, Tsien JZ. (2003) Inducible protein knockout reveals temporal requirement of CaMKII reactivation for memory consolidation in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100: 4287-92.

Tang YP, Gershon ES (2002) Genetic studies of Alzheimer’s disease. Dialogues Clin Neurosci (review) 4:139-48.

Feng R, Rampon C, Tang YP, Shrom D, Jin J, Kyin M, Sopher, B, Miller MW, Ware CB, Martin GM, Kim SH, Langdon RB, Sisodia SS, Tsien JZ (2001) Deficient neurogenesis in forebrain-specific presenilin-1 knockout mice is associated with reduced clearance of hippocampal memory traces. Neuron 32: 911-26.

Philpot BD, Weisberg MP, Ramos MS, Sawtell NB, Tang YP, Tsien JZ, Bear MF (2001) Effect of transgenic overexpression of NR2B on NMDA receptor function and synaptic plasticity in visual cortex. Neuropharmacology 41: 762-70.

Tang YP, Wang H, Feng R, Kyin M, Tsien JZ (2001) Differential effects of enrichment on learning and memory function in NR2B transgenic mice. Neuropharmacology 41: 779-90.

Shimizu E*, Tang YP*, Rampon C, Tsien JZ (2000) NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic reinforcement as a crucial process for memory consolidation. Science 290:1170-4.

Tang Y-P, Shimizu E, Tsien JZ (2001) Do 'smart' mice feel more pain, or are they just better learners? Nat Neurosci (comment) 4: 453-4.

Rampon C, Jiang CH, Dong H, Tang YP, Lockhart DJ, Schultz PG, Tsien JZ, Hu (2000) Effects of environmental enrichment on gene expression in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97: 12880-4.

Tang YP, Yamada K, Kanou Y, Miyazaki T, Xiong X, Kambe F, Murata Y, Seo H, Nabeshima T (2000) Spatiotemporal expression of BDNF in the hippocampus induced by the continuous intracerebroventricularn infusion of beta-amyloid in rats. Brain Res Mol Brain Res 80: 188-97.

Rampon C*, Tang YP*, Goodhouse J, Shimizu E, Kyin M, Tsien JZ (2000) Enrichment induces structural changes and recovery from nonspatial memory deficits in CA1 NMDAR1-knockout mice. Nat Neurosci 3: 238-44.

Tang YP, Shimizu E, Rampon C, and Tsien JZ (1999) Enhancement of learning and memory in mice by overexpressing of NR2B gene. Exp Med (review) 17:2565-8.

Tang YP, Shimizu E, Dube GR, Rampon C, Keercher GA, Zhou M, Liu G, Tsien JZ (1999) Genetic enhancement of learning and memory in mice. Nature 401: 63-9.

Tang YP, Noda Y, Nabeshima T (1997) Involvement of activation of dopaminergic neuronal system in learning and memory deficits associated with experimental mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Eur J Neurosci 9: 1720-7.

Tang YP, Noda Y, Hasigawa T, Nabeshima T (1997) Effects of VA-045 on learning and memory deficits in traumatic brain injury (TBI)-induced retrograde and anterograde amnesic mouse. Br J Pharmacol 122: 257-64.

Tang YP, Murata Y, Nagaya T, Noda Y, Seo H, Nabeshima T (1997) NGFI-B, c-fos, c-jun mRNA expression in mouse brain after acute carbon monoxide intoxication. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 17:771-80.

Tang YP, Noda Y, Hasigawa T, Nabeshima T (1997) A concussion-like brain injury in mice (II): Selective neuronal loss in the cortex and hippocampus. J Neurotrauma 14: 863-72.

Tang YP, Noda Y, Hasigawa T, Nabeshima T (1997) A concussion-like brain injury in mice (I): Impairment in learning and memory. J Neurotrauma 14: 851-62.

*, these authors contributed equally to this work.