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

  • Kim E, Wang B, Sastry N, Masliah E, Nelson PT, Cai H, Liao FF. NEDD4-mediated HSF1 degradation underlies α-synucleinopathy. Hum Mol Genet. 2016 Jan 15;25(2):211-22. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddv445. Epub 2015 Oct 26. PubMed PMID: 26503960; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4706110.
  • Wang WZ, Pu QH, Lin XH, Liu MY, Wu LR, Wu QQ, Chen YH, Liao FF, Zhu JY, Jin XB. Silencing of miR-21 sensitizes CML CD34+ stem/progenitor cells to imatinib-induced apoptosis by blocking PI3K/AKT pathway. Leuk Res. 2015 Oct;39(10):1117-24. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2015.07.008. Epub 2015 Jul 21. PubMed PMID: 26248946.
  • Wang R, Chen S, Liu Y, Diao S, Xue Y, You X, Park EA, Liao FF. All-trans-retinoic acid reduces BACE1 expression under inflammatory conditions via modulation of nuclear factor κB (NFκB) signaling. J Biol Chem. 2015 Sep 11;290(37):22532-42. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.662908. Epub 2015 Aug 3. PubMed PMID: 26240147; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4566228.
  • Tan XL, Xue YQ, Ma T, Wang X, Li JJ, Lan L, Malik KU, McDonald MP, Dopico AM, Liao FF. Partial eNOS deficiency causes spontaneous thrombotic cerebral infarction, amyloid angiopathy and cognitive impairment. Mol Neurodegener. 2015 Jun 24;10:24. doi: 10.1186/s13024-015-0020-0. PubMed PMID: 26104027; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4479241.
  • Xue Y, Li J, Yan L, Lu L, Liao FF. Genetic variability to diet-induced hippocampal dysfunction in BXD recombinant inbred (RI) mouse strains. Behav Brain Res. 2015 Oct 1;292:83-94. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.06.023. Epub 2015 Jun 16. PubMed PMID: 26092713.
  • Chen Y, Zhang DQ, Liao Z, Wang B, Gong S, Wang C, Zhang MZ, Wang GH, Cai H, Liao FF, Xu JP. Anti-oxidant polydatin (piceid) protects against substantia nigral motor degeneration in multiple rodent models of Parkinson's disease. Mol Neurodegener. 2015 Mar 2;10:4. doi: 10.1186/1750-1326-10-4. PubMed PMID: 26013581; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4506434.

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