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Francesca-Fang Liao, PhD

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


  • PhD 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

  • Saadipour K, Tiberi A, Lomardo S, Grajales E, Montroull L, Mañucat-Tan NB, LaFrancois J, Cammer M, Mathews PM, Scharfman HE, Liao FF, Friedman WJ, Zhou XF, Tesco G, Chao MV. Regulation of BACE1 expression after injury is linked to the p75 neurotrophin receptor. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2019 Sep;99:103395. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2019.103395. Epub 2019 Aug 15. PubMed PMID: 31422108.
  • Li L, Ismael S, Nasoohi S, Sakata K, Liao FF, McDonald MP, Ishrat T. Thioredoxin-Interacting Protein (TXNIP) Associated NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation in Human Alzheimer's Disease Brain. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;68(1):255-265. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180814. PubMed PMID: 30741672.
  • Ding X, Liang YJ, Su L, Liao FF, Fang D, Tai J, Xing GG. BDNF contributes to the neonatal incision-induced facilitation of spinal long-term potentiation and the exacerbation of incisional pain in adult rats. Neuropharmacology. 2018 Jul 15;137:114-132. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.04.032. Epub 2018 May 3. PubMed PMID: 29729892.
  • Liu QY, Chen W, Cui S, Liao FF, Yi M, Liu FY, Wan Y. Upregulation of Ca(v)3.2 T-type calcium channels in adjacent intact L4 dorsal root ganglion neurons in neuropathic pain rats with L5 spinal nerve ligation. Neurosci Res. 2019 May;142:30-37. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2018.04.002. Epub 2018 Apr 21. PubMed PMID: 29684385.
  • Kang XJ, Chi YN, Chen W, Liu FY, Cui S, Liao FF, Cai J, Wan Y. Increased expression of Ca(V)3.2 T-type calcium channels in damaged DRG neurons contributes to neuropathic pain in rats with spared nerve injury. Mol Pain. 2018 Jan-Dec;14:1744806918765808. doi: 10.1177/1744806918765808. PubMed PMID: 29592785; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5888807.
  • 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.

View more references (pubmed link)

May 26, 2022