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Yuan Wang Ph.D.

Yuan Wang Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Main Campus


I am interested in development and plasticity of neuronal circuits and their pathology in neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegeneration. Prior to joining the faculty of Florida State University College of Medicine in 2015, I completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California at San Diego and University of Washington.


Post-Doctoral training, University of Washington
Post-Doctoral training, University of California, San Diego
Ph.D., Chinese Academy of Sciences; Major: Biophysics


FSU College of Medicine Service
2015: Faculty Council representative.

Ad-hoc Reviewer
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Journal of Neuroscience, PLOS One, Brain Research Bullet, Visual Neuroscience


Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

Research Focus

My research interests are brain development and regulation. We are particularly interested in roles of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) in developing auditory circuits for sound localization and scene analyses. Loss of FMRP results in abnormal neurons in the brain and the fragile X syndrome, the leading known genetic cause of autism. We apply genetic, molecular, and cellular approaches to investigate neuronal structure and function in normal and abnormal brains.


Wang Y, Rubel EW (2015). Modification of dendritic architecture after function. In: Emoto K, Wong R, Huang E, Hoogenraad C, editors. Dendrites: Development and Disease. Tokyo: Springer Japan. In press.

Beebe K, Wang Y, Kulesza RJ (2014). Distribution of fragile X mental retardation protein in the human auditory brainstem. Neuroscience 273:79-91.

Wang Y, Sakano H, Beebe K, Brown MR, Laat R, Bothwell M, Kulesza RJ, Rubel EW (2014). Intense and specialized dendritic localization of the fragile X mental retardation protein in binaural brainstem neurons -- a comparative study in the alligator, chicken, gerbil, and human. J Comp Neurol 522:2107-28.

McBride EG, Rubel EW, Wang Y (2013). Afferent regulation of chicken auditory brainstem neurons: rapid changes in phosphorylation of elongation factor 2. J Comp Neurol 521:1165-1183.

Polley DB, Seidl AH, Wang Y, Sanchez JT (2013). Functional circuit development in the auditory system. In: Rubenstein JLR and Rakic P (ed.) Comprehensive developmental neuroscience: Neural Circuit Development and Function in the Brain, volume 3, pp. 21-39 Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Seidl AH*, Sanchez JT*, Schecterson L*, Tabor KM*, Wang Y*, Kashima DT*, Fraser SE, Huss D, Poynter G, Lansford R, Rubel EW (2013). Validation of the transgenic quail as a model for research in the avian nervous system – a comparative study of the auditory brainstem. J Comp Neurol. 521:5-23. *Joint first authors.

Wang Y, Rubel EW (2012). In vivo reversible regulation of dendritic patterning by afferent input in bipolar auditory neurons. J Neurosci 32:11495-11504. Selected in This Week in The Journal.

Sanchez JT, Wang Y, Rubel EW, Barria A (2010). Development of glutamatergic synaptic transmission in binaural auditory neurons. J Neurophysiol 104:1774-1789.

Wang Y, Brzozowska-Prechtl A, and Karten HJ (2010). Laminar and columnar auditory cortex in avian brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:12676-12681.

Wang Y, Karten HJ (2010). Three subdivisions of the auditory midbrain in chicks (Gallus gallus) identified by their afferent and commissural projections. J Comp Neurol 518:1199-1219.

Wang Y*, Sanchez JT*, Rubel EW (2010). Nucleus laminaris. In: Shepherd G and Addona DD, editors. Handbook of Brain Microcircuits. New York: Oxford University Press. pp 224-233. *Joint first authors.

Wang Y, Cunningham DE, Tempel BL, Rubel EW (2009). Compartment-specific regulation of plasma membrane calcium ATPase type 2 in the chick auditory brainstem. J Comp Neurol 514:624-640.

Wang Y, Rubel EW (2008). Rapid regulation of microtubule-associated protein 2 in dendrites of nucleus laminaris of the chick following deprivation of afferent activity. Neuroscience 154:381-389.

Gruberg E, Dudkin E, Wang Y, Marín G, Salas C, Sentis E, Letelier J, Mpodozis J, Malpeli J, Cui H, Ma R, Northmore D, Udin S (2006). Influencing and interpreting visual input: the role of a visual feedback system. J Neurosci 26:10368-10371.

Wang Y*, Luksch H*, Brecha NC, Karten HJ (2006). Columnar projections from the cholinergic nucleus isthmi to the optic tectum in chicks (Gallus gallus): a possible substrate for synchronizing tectal channels. J Comp Neurol 494:7-35. *Joint first authors.

Wang Y, Major DE, Karten HJ (2004). Morphology and connections of nucleus isthmi pars magnocellularis in chicks (Gallu gallus). J Comp Neurol 469:275-297.

Gu Y, Wang Y, Zhang T, Wang SR (2002). Stimulus size selectivity and receptive field organization of ectostriatal neurons in the pigeon. J Comp Physiol A 188:173-178.

Gu Y, Wang Y, Wang SR (2002). Visual responses of neurons in the nucleus of the basal optic root to stationary stimuli in pigeons. J Neurosci Res 67:698-704.

Wang Y, Gu Y, Wang SR (2001). Directional responses of basal optic neurons are modulated by the nucleus lentiformis mesencephali in pigeons. Neurosci Lett 311:33-36.

Gu Y, Wang Y, Wang SR (2001). Directional modulation of visual responses of pretectal neurons by accessory optic neurons in pigeons. Neuroscience 104:153-159.

Wang Y, Xiao J, Wang SR (2000a). Excitatory and inhibitory receptive fields of tectal cells are differentially modified by magnocellular and parvocellular divisions of the pigeon nucleus isthmi. J Comp Physiol A 186:505-511.

Wang Y, Gu Y, Wang SR (2000b). Modulatory effects of the nucleus of the basal optic root on rotundal neurons in pigeons. Brain Behav Evol 56:287-292.

Wang Y, Gu Y, Wang SR (2000c). Feature detection of visual neurons in the nucleus of the basal optic root in pigeons. Brain Res Bull 51:165-169.

Gu Y, Wang Y, Wang SR (2000). Regional variation in receptive field properties of tectal neurons in pigeons. Brain Behav Evol 55:221-228.

Xiao J, Wang Y, Wang SR (1999). Effects of glutamatergic, cholinergic and GABAergic antagonists on tectal cells in toads. Neuroscience 90:1061-1067.