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

  • Zheng J, Jiang YY, Xu LC, Ma LY, Liu FY, Cui S, Cai J, Liao FF, Wan Y, Yi M. Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis along the Dorsoventral Axis Contributes Differentially to Environmental Enrichment Combined with Voluntary Exercise in Alleviating Chronic Inflammatory Pain in Mice. J Neurosci. 2017 Apr 12;37(15):4145-4157. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3333-16.2017. Epub 2017 Mar 14. PubMed PMID: 28292830.
  • Zhang C, Chen RX, Zhang Y, Wang J, Liu FY, Cai J, Liao FF, Xu FQ, Yi M, Wan Y. Reduced GABAergic transmission in the ventrobasal thalamus contributes to thermal hyperalgesia in chronic inflammatory pain. Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 2;7:41439. doi: 10.1038/srep41439. PubMed PMID: 28150719; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5288727.
  • Zhang M, Liu J, Zhou MM, Wu H, Hou Y, Li YF, Yin Y, Zheng L, Cai J, Liao FF, Liu FY, Yi M, Wan Y. Anxiolytic effects of hippocampal neurosteroids in normal and neuropathic rats with spared nerve injury. J Neurochem. 2017 Apr;141(1):137-150. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13965. Epub 2017 Mar 2. PubMed PMID: 28129443.
  • Li JJ, Wang R, Lama R, Wang X, Floyd ZE, Park EA, Liao FF. Ubiquitin Ligase NEDD4 Regulates PPARγ Stability and Adipocyte Differentiation in 3T3-L1 Cells. Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 5;6:38550. doi: 10.1038/srep38550. PubMed PMID: 27917940; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5137149.
  • Liu MY, Wang WZ, Liao FF, Wu QQ, Lin XH, Chen YH, Cheng L, Jin XB, Zhu JY. Selective and effective targeting of chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells by topoisomerase II inhibitor etoposide in combination with imatinib mesylate in vitro. Cell Biol Int. 2017 Jan;41(1):16-23. doi: 10.1002/cbin.10686. Epub 2016 Nov 16. PubMed PMID: 27677634.
  • 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. A CNS-permeable Hsp90 inhibitor rescues synaptic dysfunction and memory loss in APP-overexpressing Alzheimer's mouse model via an HSF1-mediated mechanism. Mol Psychiatry. 2016 Jul 26. doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.104. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27457810; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5323357.

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