Francesca-Fang Liao, Ph.D.

Francesca-Fang Liao, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
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 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(1):4. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26013581.
  • Xiao X, Zhao XT, Xu LC, Yue LP, Liu FY, Cai J, Liao FF, Kong JG, Xing GG, Yi M, Wan Y. Shp-1 dephosphorylates TRPV1 in dorsal root ganglion neurons and alleviates CFA-induced inflammatory pain in rats. Pain. 2015 Apr;156(4):597-608. doi: 10.1097/01.j.pain.0000460351.30707.c4. PubMed PMID: 25790452.
  • Li JJ, Ferry RJ Jr, Diao S, Xue B, Bahouth SW, Liao FF. Nedd4 haploinsufficient mice display moderate insulin resistance, enhanced lipolysis, and protection against high-fat diet-induced obesity. Endocrinology. 2015 Apr;156(4):1283-91. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1909. Epub 2015 Jan 21. PubMed PMID: 25607895; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4399314.
  • Zhang Y, Liu FY, Liao FF, Wan Y, Yi M. Exacerbation of tonic but not phasic pain by entorhinal cortex lesions. Neurosci Lett. 2014 Oct 3;581:137-42. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2014.05.015. Epub 2014 May 16. PubMed PMID: 24840135.
  • Mayo JN, Chen CH, Liao FF, Bearden SE. Homocysteine disrupts outgrowth of microvascular endothelium by an iNOS-dependent mechanism. Microcirculation. 2014 Aug;21(6):541-50. doi: 10.1111/micc.12133. PubMed PMID: 24655004; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4126873.
  • Li JJ, Dolios G, Wang R, Liao FF. Soluble beta-amyloid peptides, but not insoluble fibrils, have specific effect on neuronal microRNA expression. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 4;9(3):e90770. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090770. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24595404; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3942478.

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