Francesca-Fang Liao, Ph.D.

Francesca-Fang Liao, Ph.D.

Department of Pharmacology

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
874 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38163
Tel: (901) 448-2752
Fax: (901) 448-1822
Email: Francesca-Fang Liao



  • Ph.D. Institution: Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York
  • Postdoctoral: Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Immuniology, The Rockefeller University, New York


Research Interests

Molecular mechanism underlying neurotoxicity and neuroprotection.

  1. Study of the molecular mechanisms for the actions of several neuroprotective agents via activating the production of the soluble APP. Currently we conduct comparative studies in the in vitro and in vivo settings on the following chemical agents (statins, estrogen, melatonin, EGCG/anti-oxidant from green tea extract, and bryostatin/PKC activator).
  2. Study of novel functional roles of PTEN in adult CNS and in particular in neurodegeneration using Alzheimer mouse models. This study involves the following areas: 1) newly identified role of nuclear PTEN in neuronal cell cycle regulation 2) validation of the cell cycle hypothesis in neuronal degeneration and 3) redox regulation of PTEN as a crucial mechanism in neuronal function.
  3. Study of redox regulation of cell cycle regulators in neurons that contribute to neurodegeneration. We will employ both the acute (stroke) and chronic Alzheimer mouse models to investigate the interplay between PTEN, Akt, cell cycle molecules and neuronal death.
  4. Study of functional coupling between PTEN and a number of CNS receptors involved in drug addiction and in neuronal plasticity. Approaches will include structurefunction relationship analysis and eventually develop disruptive peptides/small molecule inhibitors as potential therapeutic interventions.

Representative Publications

  • Chen W, Chi YN, Kang XJ, Liu QY, Zhang HL, Li ZH, Zhao ZF, Yang Y, Su L, Cai J, Liao FF, Yi M, Wan Y, Liu FY. Accumulation of Ca(v)3.2 T-type Calcium Channels in the Uninjured Sural Nerve Contributes to Neuropathic Pain in Rats with Spared Nerve Injury. Front Mol Neurosci. 2018 Feb 8;11:24. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00024. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29472842; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5809483.
  • Song CY, Khan NS, Liao FF, Wang B, Shin JS, Bonventre JV, Malik KU. Brain Cytosolic Phospholipase A2α Mediates Angiotensin II-Induced Hypertension and Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Male Mice. Am J Hypertens. 2018 Jan 12. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpy009. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29342227.
  • Li JJ, Wang B, Kodali MC, Chen C, Kim E, Patters BJ, Lan L, Kumar S, Wang X, Yue J, Liao FF. In vivo evidence for the contribution of peripheral circulating inflammatory exosomes to neuroinflammation. J Neuroinflammation. 2018 Jan 8;15(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s12974-017-1038-8. PubMed PMID: 29310666; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5759808.
  • Hartmann DA, Hyacinth HI, Liao FF, Shih AY. Does pathology of small venules contribute to cerebral microinfarcts and dementia? J Neurochem. 2017 Sep 26. doi: 10.1111/jnc.14228. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 28950410.
  • Kim E, Sakata K, Liao FF. Bidirectional interplay of HSF1 degradation and UPR activation promotes tau hyperphosphorylation. PLoS Genet. 2017 Jul 5;13(7):e1006849. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006849. eCollection 2017 Jul. PubMed PMID: 28678786; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5517072.
  • Wang B, Liu Y, Huang L, Chen J, Li JJ, Wang R, Kim E, Chen Y, Justicia C, Sakata K, Chen H, Planas A, Ostrom RS, Li W, Yang G, McDonald MP, Chen R, Heck DH, Liao FF. Hsp90 inhibitor induces nuclear translocation of HSF1 predominantly in hippocampal CA1 region. Mol Psychiatry. 2017 Jul;22(7):935. doi: 10.1038/mp.2017.125. PubMed PMID: 28638149.

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