Wenbiao Gan, PhD

Skirball Institute

Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

Wenbiao Gan
synaptic plasticity, imaging, metabolism, molecular, cellular, & translational neuroscience

Wen-Biao Gan, Ph.D. Skirball Institute and Department of Physiology and Neuroscience One of the most important features of the nervous system is its remarkable plasticity during development and in learning and memory. Many lines of evidence indicate that the number and distribution of synapses in many parts of the nervous system change throughout life. Very little is known at present about how changes in synaptic structure take place in living animals. We are studying the mechanisms that regulate structural plasticity of synapses by taking advantage of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) expressing transgenic mice in which synaptic structure are specifically labeled by GFP. Using a confocal microscope, we have recently been able to generate 3-dimensional reconstructions of synapses on individual neurons at the submandibular ganglion and the superior cervical ganglion of living mice. By following synapses of the same neuron over time, we have found that synaptic structure is generally stable over several days but undergoes substantial remodeling over a period of weeks in the mouse submandibular ganglion (Fig.1). The ability to follow individual inter-neuronal synapses in vivo opens a direct window to study many interesting questions such as: How dynamic are synapses once they are formed? How does neuronal activity modulate synaptic structure? How does change in synaptic structure occur as a function of age? We are currently addressing these questions using high-resolution in vivo confocal imaging, electron microscopy and molecular approaches. In addition to study neural plasticity in the peripheral nervous system, we have recently developed a technique for rapid labeling of a large number of neurons with many different colors (Fig.2). Using this technique, we are planning to study structural plasticity of neuronal circuits in the central nervous system.



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These focus areas and their associated publications are derived from medical subject headings from PubMed.
represents one publication

Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology

PhD from Columbia University

Li, Wei; Ma, Lei; Yang, Guang; Gan, Wen-Biao

Nature neuroscience. 2017 Jan 16; 20(3):427-437

Peng, Jiyun; Gu, Nan; Zhou, Lijun; B Eyo, Ukpong; Murugan, Madhuvika; Gan, Wen-Biao; Wu, Long-Jun

Nature communications. 2016 Jun 28; 7:12029-12029

Hou, Hongping; Zhang, Lihai; Ye, Zuguang; Li, Jianrong; Lian, Zijian; Chen, Chao; He, Rong; Peng, Bo; Xu, Qihua; Zhang, Guangping; Gan, Wenbiao; Tang, Peifu

Molecular neurobiology. 2016 May; 53(4):2249-2257

Wang, Xu; Zhao, Lian; Zhang, Jun; Fariss, Robert N; Ma, Wenxin; Kretschmer, Friedrich; Wang, Minhua; Qian, Hao Hua; Badea, Tudor C; Diamond, Jeffrey S; Gan, Wen-Biao; Roger, Jerome E; Wong, Wai T

Journal of neuroscience. 2016 Mar 02; 36(9):2827-2842

Qiao, Qian; Ma, Lei; Li, Wei; Tsai, Jin-Wu; Yang, Guang; Gan, Wen-Biao

Developmental neurobiology. 2016 Mar; 76(3):252-261

Ma, Lei; Qiao, Qian; Tsai, Jin-Wu; Yang, Guang; Li, Wei; Gan, Wen-Biao

Developmental neurobiology. 2016 Mar; 76(3):277-286

Zhao, Lian; Zabel, Matthew K; Wang, Xu; Ma, Wenxin; Shah, Parth; Fariss, Robert N; Qian, Haohua; Parkhurst, Christopher N; Gan, Wen-Biao; Wong, Wai T

EMBO molecular medicine. 2015 Jul 02; 7(9):1179-1197

Tang, Peifu; Zhang, Yiling; Chen, Chao; Ji, Xinran; Ju, Furong; Liu, Xingyu; Gan, Wen-Biao; He, Zhigang; Zhang, Shengxiang; Li, Wei; Zhang, Lihai

Scientific reports. 2015 May 19; 5:9691-9691