Wenbiao Gan

Professor, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Molecular Neurobiology. Department of Physiology and Neuroscience

Ph.D., 1995 Columbia University

Keywords: Synapses, Dendritic Spines, Cortex, Learning, Imaging



Contact Information: 

Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
540 First Avenue 5th floor, Lab 4
New York, N.Y. 10016
Office Tel: (212) 263-2585
Lab Tel: (212) 263-2586
Fax: (212) 263-8214
E-mail: wenbiao.gan@med.nyu.edu

Administrative Contact:

Katherine Moore
Tel: (212)263-6354
Email: katherine.moore@med.nyu.edu

Mechanisms of Synaptic Plasticity and Stability

We are presently investigating how sensory and learning experiences lead to changes of synaptic connectivity in the living mouse brain. Specifically, we are examining how stress hormones and fear conditioning modify dendritic spine plasticity in the mouse cortex. We have recently generated mice with a targeted gene insertion allowing for the expression of tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase in CX3CR1 expressing microglial cells. This transgenic mouse line provides a molecular handle for the in vivo manipulation of microglia including deletion. We hope to elucidate the role of microglia in synapse development, controlling neuronal damage and glial scar formation after traumatic brain injury, as well as regulating amyloid deposition and synaptic pathology in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

Selected Publications:

Grutzendler, J., Kasthuri, N., Gan, W-B. (2002) Long-term dendritic spine stability in the adult cortex. Nature. 420:812-816. PMID: 12490949

Zuo, Y., Yang, G., Kwon, E., Gan, W-B (2005) Long-term sensory deprivation prevents dendritic spine loss in primary somatosensory cortex. Nature. 436:261-5. PMID: 16015331

Davalos, D., Grutzendler, J., Yang, G., Kim, J.V., Zuo, Y., Jung, S., Littmann, D.R., Dustin, M.L., Gan, W-B (2005) ATP mediates rapid microglial response to local brain injury in vivo. Nat Neurosci. 8:752-8. PMID: 15895084

Yang, G., Pan, F., Lin, A, Gan, W-B. (2009) Stably maintained dendritic spines are associated with lifelong memories. Nature. 462:920-4. PMID: 19946265

Lai, C.S.W., Franke, T.F., Gan, W-B. (2012) Opposite effects of fear conditioning and extinction on dendritic spine remodelling. Nature 483:87-91.  PMID: 22343895

Click here to see all publications in PubMed