Department of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine

Qin Wang

Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Neurodegeneration
Inaugural Director of the Program for Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Discovery

Mailing Address:

Department of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine
1120 15th Street, Rm. CA3002
Medical College of Georgia Augusta University
Augusta, GA 30912

Phone:  706-721-0700 
Other: Georgia Research Alliance


1992 MD            Peking University Health Science Center (Bejing Medical University)

1999 PhD          University of Iowa, Ph.D. in Molecular Biology


2000-2002          Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University, Department of Pharmacology

Research interests:

Dr. Qin Wang's research interests revolve around investigating cell surface receptor signaling and neuropharmacology in the context of brain physiology and disease pathology. Her laboratory employs state-of-the-art techniques, including CRISPR editing, multiomic analysis, super-resolution imaging, pharmacological and behavioral approaches, as well as humanized animal models, human postmortem tissues, and iPSC-derived brain cells, to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD) and complex behaviors. Furthermore, the lab explores the therapeutic potential of targeting these mechanisms for disease treatment, with the ultimate goal of translating their fundamental discoveries into novel clinical applications.

One of the primary focuses of Dr. Wang's lab is AD, a multifaceted disease that involves numerous genetic and environmental factors. Her lab employs a multifaceted approach to address this complexity, with a particular emphasis on the following areas: 1) exploring the contribution of noradrenergic dysfunction to AD pathogenesis; 2) investigating alterations in endosomal trafficking in AD and the interactions between AD risk factors; 3) elucidating the role of astrocytic signaling and reactivity in AD progression; 4) examining the relationship between AD risk and cancer therapies, as well as congenital heart diseases; 5) developing treatments for AD by targeting neuronal hyperexcitability.

Current projects:Wang lab image

Some of our focus are:

1. Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis

a) noradrenergic dysfunction and adrenergic signaling in AD;

b) regulation of endosomal trafficking and its involvement in AD pathogenesis;

c) astrocyte reactivity in AD;

d) tumors and related therapies as risk factors for AD.


2. Cognition and complex behaviorsWang lab image

a) synaptic signaling in autism;

b) epigenetic regulation of anxiety and

c) a novel mouse model for ADHD.


3. Selective targeting of GPCRs

a) neural-specific enhancement of adenosine receptor for neuroprotection;Wang lab image

b) signaling-specific targeting of adrenergic receptor for AD.


Lab members:

Shalini Saggu – Assistant Professor
Cynthia Martin-Jimenez - Postdoctoral Fellow
Andrei Bombin, Research Scientist
Mae Aida – Graduate Student
Amy Trang – Research Associate
Jin Wen - Postdoctoral Fellow
Yang Shu, Postdoc Fellow
Zijian Zhou, Postdoc Fellow
Emily Dew - Graduate Student
Gustavo Capo - Medical Student
Priyanka Menon, Medical student
Alexis Jones - Research Associate


Open Positions

Multiple NIH-funded postdoctoral positions are available for motivated and creative postdoctoral fellows to study disease mechanisms at molecular, cellular and system levels and to identify novel therapeutic strategies for neurological disorders. Excellent research techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology are preferred. Prior experience with brain research and skills in computation are valued. Candidates with biochemistry, cell biology and/or neurobiology backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The laboratory focuses on translational research in synaptic signaling and neuropharmacology. The postdoctoral fellow will have opportunities to conduct the innovative research projects with state-of-the-art technologies and model systems, such as CRISPR gene editing, single-cell RNA-Seq, super-resolution imaging, AI-aided design and analysis, patient-derived iPSCs and humanized mouse models. The fellow will be given opportunities to apply for training grants and encouraged to pursue independent research career, with a strong support from the mentor. 

Postdoctoral Fellows: 
We seek postdoctoral fellows interested in studying Alzheimer’s disease. The candidates will hold a PhD or MD or equivalent in neuroscience, physiology, molecular/cell biology, biochemistry or neuropharmacology. Expertise in molecular biology and biochemistry is desirable. Candidates are expected to have good communication skills and have a strong drive for building a successful research career.

Graduate Students:
We welcome graduate students and are interested in potential rotation students. Prospective students can apply to our lab through the Graduate Program in Neuroscience as well as through the MD/PhD Program.

Undergraduate Students and medical students:
We accept motivated undergraduate students and medical students who are interested in biomedical research.

Media Coverage

Dr. Qin Wang

Dr. Qin Wang will lead new Program for Alzheimer’s Therapeutics Discovery at MCG

Dr. Qin Wang will lead new Program for Alzheimer’s Therapeutics Discovery at MCG
Dr. Qin Wang teaching/ speaking

Potential drug for Alzheimer's disease could block early damage, MCG researcher says

Potential drug for Alzheimer's disease could block early damage, MCG researcher says

News Media Coverage

Blood pressure drug holds promise for treating PTSD

January 5, 2023EurekAlert!

AUGUSTA, Ga. (Jan. 5, 2023) – There is new evidence that a 50-year-old blood pressure drug could find new purpose as a treatment to mitigate the often life-altering effects of increasingly prevalent PTSD, scientists say.

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Blood pressure drug holds promise for treating PTSD

January 5, 2023ScienceDaily

There is new evidence that a 50-year-old blood pressure drug could find new purpose as a treatment to mitigate the often life-altering effects of increasingly prevalent PTSD, scientists say.

Continue Reading

50 year old blood pressure drug offers alternative treatment for PTSD

January 5, 2023Drug Target Review

Bit Bio NEWS 50 year old blood pressure drug offers alternative treatment for PTSD US scientists offer a new purpose for the blood pressure drug clonidine as a treatment to reduce the affects of PTSD. PTSD Scientists at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, US, have new evidence that a 50 year old blood pressure drug could find new purpose as a treatment to mitigate the affects of increasingly prevalent PTSD.

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Study: Clonidine Blood Pressure Medication Could Be Used to Treat PTSD

January 16, 2023Pharmacy Times

New evidence suggests that clonidine, a blood pressure medication, could be used to mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a study published in Molecular Psychiatry.

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Selected publications:

Zhang C, Aida M, Saggu S, Yu H, Zhou L, Jiao K, Liu R, Wang L, Wang Q (2024) Androgen

  deprivation therapy exacerbates Alzheimer's associated cognitive decline via increased brain

  immune cell infiltration. Sci. Adv. Accepted.


Pless A, Ware D, Saggu S, Rehman H, Morgan J, Wang Q. (2023) Understanding

   neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer's disease: challenges and advances in diagnosis

   and treatment. Front Neurosci. 2023;17:1263771.


Qin H, Zhou L, Haque F, Martin-Jimenez C, Trang A, Benveniste E, Wang Q. (2023) 

   Diverse Signaling Mechanisms and Heterogeneity of Astrocyte Reactivity in Alzheimer’s

   Disease. J Neurochem. In press.


Saggu S, Chen Y, Wang H, Cottingham C, Zhang S, Augelli-Szafran C, Jiao K, Lu X and Wang Q.

   (2022) Ligand-selective activation of cofilin leads to distinct regulation of fear memory

   reconsolidation by α2AR agonists. Mol Psychiatry. 2023 Feb;28(2):588-600.


Li S, Fang Y, Zhang Y, Song M, Zhang X, Ding X, Yao H, Chen M, Sun Y, Ding J, Wang Q, Lu M,

   Wu G,  Hu G (2022) Microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activates neurotoxic astrocytes in a mouse

   model of depression. Cell Rep. 41(4):111532. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111532.


Saggu S, Chen Y, Pizarro D, Law W, Pati S, McMahon L, Jiao K and Wang Q (2022)

   Peptide blocker of the adenosine A1R-neurabin interaction displays strong anti-seizure

   effects and reduces epileptic activities in an Alzheimer’s model. JCI Insight. Jun 8;7(11):e155002.

   doi: 10.1172/jci.insight. 155002


Cunningham J, Sheppard LD, Listik E and Wang Q (2022) Self-paced five-choice serial

    reaction time-task for mouse behavior testing. bio-101.



Hao X, Li Z, Li W, Katz J, Michalek S, Barnum SR, Pozzo-Miller L, Saito T, Saido T, Wang

   Q, Roberson ED, Zhang P. (2022) Periodontal Infection Aggravates C1q-Mediated Microglial  

   Activation and Synapse Pruning in Alzheimer’s Mice. Frontiers in Immunology. 01 Feb. 2022.


Yan S, Thienthanasit R, Chen D, Engelen E, Bruhl J, Crossman D, Kesterson R, Wang Q,

   Bouazoune K, and Jiao K (2020) CHD7 regulates cardiovascular development through ATP–

   dependent and -independent activities. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 117:28847-28858.


Zhang Y, Song L, Dong H, Kim D, Sun Z, Boger H, Wang Q and Wang H. (2020)

   Spinophilin -deficient mice are protected from diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance.

   AJP-Endocrinology and Metabolism. 319: E354–E362.


Kumar SNK, Devarajan A, Karan G, Suresh S, Wang Q, van Groen T, del Monte F,

   Rajasekaran NS. (2020) Reductive stress promotes protein aggregation and impairs

   neurogenesis. Redox Biol. 37:101739.


Zhang F, Gannon M, Chen Y, Yan S, Zhang S, Feng W, Tao J, Sha B, Liu Z, Saito T, Saido

   T, Keene CD, Jiao K, Roberson ED, Xu H, and Wang Q (2020) Amyloid β rewires

   norepinephrine signaling to activate the pathogenic GSK3β/tau cascade. Science Transl Med.

   Vol. 12, Issue 526, eaay6931.


Gannon M, Wang Q (2019). Complex Noradrenergic Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease:

     Low Norepinephrine Input is Not Always to Blame. Brain Res. 1702, 12-16.


Yim Y, Betke K, McDonald WH, Gilsbach R, Chen Y, Hyde K, Wang Q, Hein L, and Hamm

   H (2019) The in vivo specificity of synaptic Gβ and Gγ subunits to the α2a adrenergic receptor

   at CNS synapses. Sci Rep. 9:1718.


Cottingham C, Che P, Zhang W, Wang H, Wang RX, Percival S, Birky T, Zhou L, Jiao K and

   Wang Q (2017) Diverse arrestin-recruiting and endocytic profiles of tricyclic antipsychotics

   acting as direct a2A adrenergic receptor ligands. Neuropharmacology, 116, 38-49.


Reyes B, Carvalho AF, Szot P, Kalamarides D, Wang Q, Kirby L, Van Bockstaele E (2017)

   Cortical adrenoceptor expression, function and adaptation under conditions of cannabinoid

   receptor deletion. Exp Neurol., 292, 179-192.


Chen Y, Booth C, Wang H, Wang RX, Terzi D, Zachariou V, Zhang J, Jiao K and Wang Q

   (2017) Effective attenuation of adenosine A1R signaling by neurabin requires neurabin

   oligomerization.  Mol Pharm. 92, 630-639.


Scarduzio M, Zimmerman CN, Jaunarajs KL, Wang Q, Standaert DG and McMahon L

   (2017) Elevated striatal cholinergic tone drives dopamine D2 receptor mediated paradoxical

   excitation of cholinergic interneurons in DYT1 dystonia. Exp Neurol. 295, 162-175.


Zhang F, Gannon M, Chen Y, Zhou L, Jiao K and Wang Q (2017) The amyloid precursor

   protein modulates α2A adrenergic receptor endocytosis and signaling through disrupting

   arrestin 3 recruitment. FASEB J. 31, 4434-4446.


Wu H, Cottingham C, Wang H, Che P, Wang RX, Jiao K and Wang Q (2017) Age-

   dependent differential regulation of anxiety- and depression-related behaviors by neurabin

   and spinophilin. PLoS One. 12(7):e0180638.


Chen Y, Peng Y, Che P, Gannon M, Liu Y, Li L, Bu G, van Groen T, Jiao K and Wang Q

    (2014) alpha2A adrenergic receptor promotes amyloidogenesis through disrupting APP-

    SorLA interaction. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 111, 17296-17301.


Wang Q, Zhao J, Brady AE, Feng J, Allen PB, Lefkowitz RJ, Greengard P and Limbird LE

    (2004)  Spinophilin blocks arrestin actions in vitro and in vivo at G protein-coupled receptors.    

    Science 304, 1940-1944 (Research Article).