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About Me

Professional Background

Dr. Kuan Hong Wang began his research training as an undergraduate at Harvard College, receiving B.A., Summa Cum Laude, with highest honors in Biochemical Sciences. He then went to the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) for his PhD research with Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, and identifie...
Dr. Kuan Hong Wang began his research training as an undergraduate at Harvard College, receiving B.A., Summa Cum Laude, with highest honors in Biochemical Sciences. He then went to the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) for his PhD research with Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, and identified novel molecular regulators of axon growth and branching during neural development. During his postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with Dr. Susumu Tonegawa, he developed new genetic tools and optical methods for tracking activity-regulated gene expression changes in the living brain and uncovered novel mechanisms of experience-dependent visual processing. As a principal investigator at the intramural research program of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), he established a new line of research on the neural circuit and molecular mechanisms underlying goal-directed skills. His laboratory identified novel roles of frontal cortical neuronal ensembles in the learning and control of goal-directed skills, established new paradigms for top-down corticospinal control of sensorimotor functions and pain, and uncovered unique age-dependent plasticity of dopaminergic inputs to frontal cortex and its impairment in mouse models of psychiatric dysfunctions. Presently, Dr. Wang is a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience at the University of Rochester Medical Center. His current research continues to investigate the functional specialization, age-related alteration, and therapeutic modulation of cortical circuits involved in cognitive and emotional control of behaviors. His research is supported by multiple grants from National Institutes of Health (including NIMH, NIA, NICHD, NCCIH, and NIBIB). In addition, he is taking leadership roles in the NIH-designated Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) and the Network for Emotional Well-being and Brain Aging (NEW Brain Aging) Center at the University of Rochester.

Faculty Appointments

Professor - Department of Neuroscience (SMD)

Dean's Professorship - Department of Neuroscience (SMD)

Professor - Department of Pharmacology and Physiology (SMD) - Joint

Credentials

Education

Ph.D. | University of California at San Francisco. 1999

BA | Harvard College. Biochemical Sciences. 1994

Research

A fundamental challenge in neuroscience is to elucidate brain circuit architecture for adaptive control of behavior. Neurodevelopment offers a unique lens to illuminate the emergence of circuit architecture and function, and this approach is increasingly applied to investigate the origins of neurolo...
A fundamental challenge in neuroscience is to elucidate brain circuit architecture for adaptive control of behavior. Neurodevelopment offers a unique lens to illuminate the emergence of circuit architecture and function, and this approach is increasingly applied to investigate the origins of neurological and psychiatric disorders. The long-term goal of Dr. Wang’s laboratory is to discover the logic and mechanisms connecting the functional organization of brain circuits to their developmental and evolutionary origins, which will ultimately improve brain therapeutic design based on generative principles.

The current research in Dr. Wang’s laboratory encompasses a series of questions on the cerebral cortical circuits involved in cognitive-affective interactions and adaptive control of behaviors. For example, how does the frontal cortex organize its long-range connections with other cortical areas to exert executive control of action and perception? How do endogenous and exogenous neurochemicals, such as dopamine and cannabinoid, modulate intercortical communication in both normal and neuropathological states? What are the age-related mechanisms regulating the maturation and degeneration of long-range intercortical and neuromodulatory projections? How do genetic mutations identified in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders impact cortical circuit architecture and communication? We use both rodent (mouse) and non-human primate (marmoset) models for mechanistic investigation and cross-species comparison, and collaborate with human and clinical scientists for translational application. A variety of innovative technologies for monitoring and manipulation of neural circuits, such as in vivo imaging and electrophysiology, opto/chemogenetic modulation, neuroanatomical circuit tracing, and machine learning-based behavior analysis, are integrated in our laboratory to address these research questions.

Publications

Journal Articles

Assessing the integrity of auditory sensory memory processing in CLN3 disease (Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (Batten disease)): an auditory evoked potential study of the duration-evoked mismatch negativity (MMN).

Brima T, Freedman EG, Prinsloo KD, Augustine EF, Adams HR, Wang KH, Mink JW, Shaw LH, Mantel EP, Foxe JJ

Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders.. 2024 January 616 (1):3. Epub 01/06/2024.

Adolescent neurostimulation of dopamine circuit reverses genetic deficits in frontal cortex function.

Mastwal S, Li X, Stowell R, Manion M, Zhang W, Kim NS, Yoon KJ, Song H, Ming GL, Wang KH

eLife.. 2023 October 1312 Epub 10/13/2023.

Assessing the integrity of auditory sensory memory processing in CLN3 disease (Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (Batten disease)): An auditory evoked potential study of the duration-evoked mismatch negativity (MMN).

Brima T, Freedman EG, Prinsloo KD, Augustine EF, Adams HR, Wang KH, Mink JW, Shaw LH, Mantel EP, Foxe JJ

Research square.. 2023 August 17 Epub 08/17/2023.

Fast prediction in marmoset reach-to-grasp movements for dynamic prey.

Shaw L, Wang KH, Mitchell J

Current biology : CB.. 2023 June 1933 (12):2557-2565.e4. Epub 06/05/2023.

New horizons in emotional well-being and brain aging: Potential lessons from cross-species research.

Lin FV, Zuo Y, Conwell Y, Wang KH

International journal of geriatric psychiatry.. 2023 June 38 (6):e5936. Epub 1900 01 01.

Emotional Well-Being: What It Is and Why It Matters.

Park CL, Kubzansky LD, Chafouleas SM, Davidson RJ, Keltner D, Parsafar P, Conwell Y, Martin MY, Hanmer J, Wang KH

Affective science.. 2023 March 4 (1):10-20. Epub 11/15/2022.

A Perfect Storm to Set the Stage for Ontological Exploration: Response to Commentaries on "Emotional Well-Being: What It Is and Why It Matters".

Park CL, Kubzansky LD, Chafouleas SM, Davidson RJ, Keltner D, Parsafar P, Conwell Y, Martin MY, Hanmer J, Wang KH

Affective science.. 2023 March 4 (1):52-58. Epub 12/14/2022.

Adolescent neurostimulation of dopamine circuit reverses genetic deficits in frontal cortex function.

Mastwal S, Li X, Stowell R, Manion M, Zhang W, Kim NS, Yoon KJ, Song H, Ming GL, Wang KH

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.. 2023 February 4 Epub 02/04/2023.

Can Emotional Well-Being Maintain Health and Prevent Suicide in Later Life? A National Priority for Research.

Conwell Y, Lin FV, Wang KH

The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.. 2023 January 25 Epub 01/25/2023.

A sex difference in mouse dopaminergic projections from the midbrain to basolateral amygdala.

Manion MTC, Glasper ER, Wang KH

Biology of sex differences.. 2022 December 3013 (1):75. Epub 12/30/2022.

Prior actions influence cost-benefit related decision-making during mouse foraging behaviors.

Dylda E, Wang KH

The European journal of neuroscience.. 2022 May 11 Epub 05/11/2022.

Comparative anatomical analysis of dopamine systems in Mus musculus and Peromyscus californicus.

Buck J, Manion MTC, Zhang W, Glasper ER, Wang KH

Brain structure & function.. 2022 May 2 Epub 05/02/2022.

KCNH2-3.1 mediates aberrant complement activation and impaired hippocampal-medial prefrontal circuitry associated with working memory deficits.

Ren M, Hu Z, Chen Q, Jaffe A, Li Y, Sadashivaiah V, Zhu S, Rajpurohit N, Heon Shin J, Xia W, Jia Y, Wu J, Lang Qin S, Li X, Zhu J, Tian Q, Paredes D, Zhang F, Wang KH, Mattay VS, Callicott JH, Berman KF, Weinberger DR, Yang F

Molecular psychiatry.. 2019 September 30 Epub 09/30/2019.

Developmental Exposure to Psychostimulant Primes Activity-dependent Gene Induction in Frontal Cortex.

Ye Y, Liu Q, Zhang W, Mastwal S, Wang KH

Developmental neurobiology.. 2019 January 79 (1):96-108. Epub 12/19/2018.

Touch and tactile neuropathic pain sensitivity are set by corticospinal projections.

Liu Y, Latremoliere A, Li X, Zhang Z, Chen M, Wang X, Fang C, Zhu J, Alexandre C, Gao Z, Chen B, Ding X, Zhou JY, Zhang Y, Chen C, Wang KH, Woolf CJ, He Z

Nature.. 2018 September 561 (7724):547-550. Epub 09/12/2018.

Mechanism and consequence of abnormal calcium homeostasis in Rett syndrome astrocytes.

Dong Q, Liu Q, Li R, Wang A, Bu Q, Wang KH, Chang Q

eLife.. 2018 March 297 Epub 03/29/2018.

Skin suturing and cortical surface viral infusion improves imaging of neuronal ensemble activity with head-mounted miniature microscopes.

Li X, Cao VY, Zhang W, Mastwal SS, Liu Q, Otte S, Wang KH

Journal of neuroscience methods.. 2017 November 1291 :238-248. Epub 08/19/2017.

Deconstruction of Corticospinal Circuits for Goal-Directed Motor Skills.

Wang X, Liu Y, Li X, Zhang Z, Yang H, Zhang Y, Williams PR, Alwahab NSA, Kapur K, Yu B, Zhang Y, Chen M, Ding H, Gerfen CR, Wang KH, He Z

Cell.. 2017 October 5171 (2):440-455.e14. Epub 09/21/2017.

Dopamine is Required for Activity-Dependent Amplification of Arc mRNA in Developing Postnatal Frontal Cortex.

Ye Y, Mastwal S, Cao VY, Ren M, Liu Q, Zhang W, Elkahloun AG, Wang KH

Cerebral cortex.. 2017 July 127 (7):3600-3608. Epub 1900 01 01.

Genetic Disruption of Arc/Arg3.1 in Mice Causes Alterations in Dopamine and Neurobehavioral Phenotypes Related to Schizophrenia.

Managò F, Mereu M, Mastwal S, Mastrogiacomo R, Scheggia D, Emanuele M, De Luca, Weinberger DR, Wang KH, Papaleo F

Cell reports.. 2016 August 2316 (8):2116-2128. Epub 08/11/2016.

CHRNA7 and CHRFAM7A mRNAs: co-localized and their expression levels altered in the postmortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in major psychiatric disorders.

Kunii Y, Zhang W, Xu Q, Hyde TM, McFadden W, Shin JH, Deep-Soboslay A, Ye T, Li C, Kleinman JE, Wang KH, Lipska BK

The American journal of psychiatry.. 2015 November 1172 (11):1122-30. Epub 07/24/2015.

Motor Learning Consolidates Arc-Expressing Neuronal Ensembles in Secondary Motor Cortex.

Cao VY, Ye Y, Mastwal S, Ren M, Coon M, Liu Q, Costa RM, Wang KH

Neuron.. 2015 June 1786 (6):1385-92. Epub 06/04/2015.

Phasic dopamine neuron activity elicits unique mesofrontal plasticity in adolescence.

Mastwal S, Ye Y, Ren M, Jimenez DV, Martinowich K, Gerfen CR, Wang KH

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience.. 2014 July 1634 (29):9484-96. Epub 1900 01 01.

Arc regulates experience-dependent persistent firing patterns in frontal cortex.

Ren M, Cao V, Ye Y, Manji HK, Wang KH

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience.. 2014 May 734 (19):6583-95. Epub 1900 01 01.

Experience-induced Arc/Arg3.1 primes CA1 pyramidal neurons for metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent long-term synaptic depression.

Jakkamsetti V, Tsai NP, Gross C, Molinaro G, Collins KA, Nicoletti F, Wang KH, Osten P, Bassell GJ, Gibson JR, Huber KM

Neuron.. 2013 October 280 (1):72-9. Epub 10/02/2013.

In vivo two-photon imaging of experience-dependent molecular changes in cortical neurons.

Cao VY, Ye Y, Mastwal SS, Lovinger DM, Costa RM, Wang KH

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.. 2013 January 5 (71)Epub 01/05/2013.

Dopamine, cognitive function, and gamma oscillations: role of D4 receptors.

Furth KE, Mastwal S, Wang KH, Buonanno A, Vullhorst D

Frontiers in cellular neuroscience.. 2013 7 :102. Epub 07/02/2013.

Optogenetic inactivation modifies monkey visuomotor behavior.

Cavanaugh J, Monosov IE, McAlonan K, Berman R, Smith MK, Cao V, Wang KH, Boyden ES, Wurtz RH

Neuron.. 2012 December 676 (5):901-7. Epub 1900 01 01.

Loss of Arc renders the visual cortex impervious to the effects of sensory experience or deprivation.

McCurry CL, Shepherd JD, Tropea D, Wang KH, Bear MF, Sur M

Nature neuroscience.. 2010 April 13 (4):450-7. Epub 03/14/2010.

Molecular mechanisms underlying neural circuit formation.

Lu B, Wang KH, Nose A

Current opinion in neurobiology.. 2009 April 19 (2):162-7. Epub 05/18/2009.

Differential gene expression between sensory neocortical areas: potential roles for Ten_m3 and Bcl6 in patterning visual and somatosensory pathways.

Leamey CA, Glendining KA, Kreiman G, Kang ND, Wang KH, Fassler R, Sawatari A, Tonegawa S, Sur M

Cerebral cortex.. 2008 January 18 (1):53-66. Epub 05/02/2007.

In vivo two-photon imaging reveals a role of arc in enhancing orientation specificity in visual cortex.

Wang KH, Majewska A, Schummers J, Farley B, Hu C, Sur M, Tonegawa S

Cell.. 2006 July 28126 (2):389-402. Epub 1900 01 01.

Diversity and specificity of actions of Slit2 proteolytic fragments in axon guidance.

Nguyen Ba-Charvet KT, Brose K, Ma L, Wang KH, Marillat V, Sotelo C, Tessier-Lavigne M, Chédotal A

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience.. 2001 June 1521 (12):4281-9. Epub 1900 01 01.

Functional annotation of a full-length mouse cDNA collection.

Kawai J, Shinagawa A, Shibata K, Yoshino M, Itoh M, Ishii Y, Arakawa T, Hara A, Fukunishi Y, Konno H, Adachi J, Fukuda S, Aizawa K, Izawa M, Nishi K, Kiyosawa H, Kondo S, Yamanaka I, Saito T, Okazaki Y, Gojobori T, Bono H, Kasukawa T, Saito R, Kadota K, Matsuda H, Ashburner M, Batalov S, Casavant T, Fleischmann W, Gaasterland T, Gissi C, King B, Kochiwa H, Kuehl P, Lewis S, Matsuo Y, Nikaido I, Pesole G, Quackenbush J, Schriml LM, Staubli F, Suzuki R, Tomita M, Wagner L, Washio T, Sakai K, Okido T, Furuno M, Aono H, Baldarelli R, Barsh G, Blake J, Boffelli D, Bojunga N, Carninci P, de Bonaldo MF, Brownstein MJ, Bult C, Fletcher C, Fujita M, Gariboldi M, Gustincich S, Hill D, Hofmann M, Hume DA, Kamiya M, Lee NH, Lyons P, Marchionni L, Mashima J, Mazzarelli J, Mombaerts P, Nordone P, Ring B, Ringwald M, Rodriguez I, Sakamoto N, Sasaki H, Sato K, Schönbach C, Seya T, Shibata Y, Storch KF, Suzuki H, Toyo-oka K, Wang KH, Weitz C, Whittaker C, Wilming L, Wynshaw-Boris A, Yoshida K, Hasegawa Y, Kawaji H, Kohtsuki S, Hayashizaki Y,

Nature.. 2001 February 8409 (6821):685-90. Epub 1900 01 01.

Biochemical purification of a mammalian slit protein as a positive regulator of sensory axon elongation and branching.

Wang KH, Brose K, Arnott D, Kidd T, Goodman CS, Henzel W, Tessier-Lavigne M

Cell.. 1999 March 1996 (6):771-84. Epub 1900 01 01.

Slit proteins bind Robo receptors and have an evolutionarily conserved role in repulsive axon guidance.

Brose K, Bland KS, Wang KH, Arnott D, Henzel W, Goodman CS, Tessier-Lavigne M, Kidd T

Cell.. 1999 March 1996 (6):795-806. Epub 1900 01 01.