Shao-Jun Tang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

  • Affiliations: Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology
  • Route: 1069, 2.104C Medical Research Building
  • Tel: (409) 772-1190
  • Fax: (409) 762-4687
  • Tang CV

Shao-Jun Tang, Ph.D.


Master of Science, University of Toronto, 1994
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toronto, 1998

    Research Interest

    Experience-induced plasticity of the synaptic connection between neurons is fundamental for the brain to process and store information. Abnormalities in synaptic plasticity are causally linked to important neurological disorders of human patients. The broad interest of my laboratory is to understand the molecular basis of synaptic plasticity and relevant brain diseases.

    A focal point of our current research is to elucidate the role and mechanism of the Wnt signaling in mammalian CNS.  My laboratory recently discovered that synaptic activation stimulates Wnt secretion from hippocampal synapses and that activity-regulated Wnt secretion is critical for long-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity important for learning and memory.  Aberrant Wnt signaling has been suggested to play a vital role in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders. The significant questions that we are interested in addressing include: How does synaptic activity control Wnt secretion? What is the mechanism by which Wnt signaling regulates synaptic plasticity? How might Wnt signaling contribute to the development of pathological pain?

    Selected Publications

    Park, C.S., Zhong, L., Tang, S.-J. (2009). Aberrant expression of synaptic plasticity-related genes in the NF1+/- hippocampus. J. Neurosci. Res. 87, 3107-3119.

    Park C.S., Tang S.J. (2009) Regulation of microRNA Expression by Induction of Bidirectional Synaptic Plasticity. J Mol. Neurosci. 38:50-6.

    Tang, S.-J. (2007). The synaptic Wnt signaling hypothesis. Synapse 61: 866-868.

    Tran, D. H., Gong, R. and Tang, S.-J. (2007). Differential roles of NR2A and NR2B subtypes in NMDA receptor-dependent protein synthesis in dendrites. Neuropharmacology 53: 252-256.

    Chen, J., Park, C. S. and Tang, S-J. (2006). Activity-dependent synaptic WNT release regulates hippocampal long-term potentiation. J. Biol. Chem. 281:11910-11916.

    Gong, R., Park, C. S., Abbassi, N. R. and Tang, S.-J. (2006). Roles of glutamate receptors and the mTOR signaling pathway in activity-dependent dendritic protein synthesis in hippocampal neurons. J. Biol. Chem. 281: 18802-18815.

    Park, C. S., Gong, R., Stuart, J. and Tang, S.-J. (2006). Molecular network and chromosomal clustering of genes involved in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. J. Biol. Chem. 281: 30195-30211.

    Tang, S. J, Reis, G., Kang, H., Gingras, A. C. Sonenberg, N. and Schuman, E. M. (2002). A Rapamycin-Sensitive Signaling Pathway contributes to long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 99: 467-472.

    Tang, S. J., Meulemans, D., Vazquez, L., and Schuman, E. M. (2001). A role for a rat homolog of staufen in the transport of RNAs to neuronal dendrites. Neuron 32, 463-475.

    Tang, S. J., Hoodless, P. A., Lu, Z., Breitman, M. L., McInnes, R. R., Wrana, J. L. and Buchwald, M. (1998). The Tlx-2 homeobox gene is a downstream target of BMP signaling and is required for mouse mesoderm development. Development 125:1877-87.

    Tang, S. J., Suen, T. C., McInnes, R. R., and Buchwald, M. (1998). Association of the TLX-2 homeodomain and 14-3-3 h signaling proteins. J. Biol. Chem. 273:25356-63.

    Macias-Silva, M., Hoodless, P. A., Tang, S. J., Buchwald, M., and Wrana, J. L. (1998). Specific activation of Smad 1 signaling pathways by the BMP7 type I receptor, ALK2. J. Biol. Chem. 273:25628-36.

    Tang, S. J. and Breitman, M. L. (1995). The optimal binding sequence of HOX11 protein contains a predicted recognition motif. Nucleic Acid Research 23:1928-1935.