Meng-Yang Zhu, M.D., Ph.D.
Stanton Gerber Hall (Bldg. 178)
Education and Professional Background:
M.D. 1977 Soochow University School of Medicine, Suzhou, China
M.Sc. 1982 Soochow University School of Medicine, Suzhou, China
Ph.D. 1993 Univeristy of Saskatchwan, Saskatoon, Canada
2012 – Present Professor, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences,Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University
2007 – 2012 Associate Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University
2000 – 2006 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center
1999 – 2000 Instructor, Harvard Medical School.
Assistant Neurologist , Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, McLean Hospital
1994 – 1999 Senior Research Associate, Dept. of Psychiatry and Human
Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center
1993 – 1994 Post-doctoral Fellow, Cancer Research Unit, Saskatoon Cancer
Center, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
1988 – 1988 Visiting Scholar, Neuropsychiatric Research Unit
University of Saskatchewan, Canada
1985 - 1988 Assistant Professor, Director of Laboratory
Dept. of Biochemistry, Soochow University School of Medicine, China
Dr. Zhu is a Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Quillen College of Medicine of East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee. He received his M.D. degree at the Soochow University School of Medicine, China, and the Ph.D. degree in the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Then he finished his post-doctoral training at the Cancer Research Unit of the Saskatoon Cancer Center and University of Mississippi Medical Center. Since his doctorate, Dr. Zhu has been focused his research direction on psychiatric diseases with main field on major depression. He was an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry of Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at University of Mississippi Medical Center. Since 2007, Dr. Zhu has been recruited as the faculty of this campus.
• Molecular regulation of norepinephrine transporter by stress and stress hormones.
• Transcriptional regulation of the noradrenergic phenotypes by transcriptional factors.
• Possible effects of agmatine on neuronal protection in vivo and in vitro.
The research of this laboratory focuses on the exploration of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the gene modulation of key proteins (enzymes and transporters) in central catecholamine neurons. Using animal and cell models we investigate effects of stress, stress hormones, transcription factors, antidepressants and other psychopharmacological compounds on gene expression in central catecholamine systems and on neurogenesis. In addition, we study the neuro-protective effect of agmatine, a putative neurotransmitter or modulator in the brain, on hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo. This latter project also includes investigating the regulation of enzymes involved in the synthesis of agmatine.
A variety of cellular and molecular biological methodologies, as well as stereotaxic microinjection and behavioral analyses are applied to cell and/or animal models to address these research projects. Since dysfunction of neural circuitry in central catecholamine systems and cell injury are potentially involved in the development of psychiatric and neurological illnesses such as major depression, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, these studies will improve our understanding of the molecular pathology of these disorders and may ultimately lead to the potential therapeutic interventions.
Active Research funding:
NIH/NIMH R01 MH080323 (Zhu, PI)
04/01/2009 – 03/31/2013
Title: Neurobiological Correlates of Stress and Norepinephrine Transporter.
Michael J. Fox Foundation Zhu (PI) 07/01/2012 – 06/30/2013
Title: Potential gene therapy for locus coeruleus degeneration in Parkinson’s disease.
Key Laboratory Personnel:
Maoxian Deng, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar
Kui Cui, MD, Visiting Scholar
Fan Yang, MS, Visiting Scholar
Yan Wang, Graduate Student
Zhu MY, Wang WP & Bissette G: Neuroprotective effects of agmatine against cell damage caused by glucocorticoids in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. Neuroscience, 2006, 141:2019-2027.
Zhu MY, Wang WP, Huang JJ & Regunathan S: Chronic treatment with glucocorticoidsalters hippocampal and prefrontal cortical morphology in parallel with endogenous agmatine and arginine decarboxylase levels. J Neurochem, 2007, 103:1811-1820.
Zhu MY, Wang WP, Ca ZW, Regunathan S & Ordway GA: Exogenous agmatine has neuroprotective effects against restraint-induced structural changes in the rat brain. Eur J Neuroscience, 2008, 27:1330-1332.
Zhu M-Y, Wang WP, Huang JJ, Feng YZ, Regunathan S & Bissette G: Repeated immobilization stress alters rat hippocampal and prefrontal cortical morphology in parallel with endogenous agmatine and arginine decarboxylase levels. Neurochemistry International, 2008, 53:346-354.
Fan Y., Huang J.J & Zhu M.-Y.: Effects of transcription factors Phox2 on expression of norepinephrine transporter and dopamine –hydroxylase in SK-N-BE(2)C cells. J. Neurochem, 2009, 110:1502-1513.
Sun Z.W., Fan Y., Zha Q.Q & Zhu M.-Y.: Corticosterone Up-regulates Expression and Function of Norepinephrine Transporter in SK-N-BE(2)C Cells. J. Neurochem., 2010, 113:105-116.
Fan Y., Huang J.J., Duffourc M., Kao R.L., Ordway G.A., Huang R. and Zhu M.-Y.: Transcription factor Phox2 upregulates expression of norepinephrine transporter and dopamine β-hydroxylase in adult rat brains. Neuroscience, 2011, 192:37-53.
Zha QQ, Wang Y., Fan Y. and Zhu M.-Y.: Dexamethasone-induced up-regulation of the human norepinephrine transporter involves the glucocorticoid receptor and increased binding of C/EBP-β to the proximal promoter of norepinephrine transporter. J. Neurochem, 2011, 119(3):654-663.
Chen P., Fan Y., Li Y., Sun Z.W., Bissette G. and Zhu M.-Y.: Chronic social defeat up-regulates expression of norepinephrine transporter in rat brains. Neurochemistry International, 2012, 60:9-20.
Zhang J., Fan Y., Li Y., Zhu H., Wang L., and Zhu M.-Y.: Chronic social defeat up-regulates expression of the serotonin transporter in rat dorsal raphe nucleus and projection regions in a glucocorticoid-dependent manner. J. Neurochem, 2012, (in press).