Amy Yang, PhD

Assistant Professor, Medical School, Duluth Campus

Amy Yang

Contact Info

Office Phone 218-726-7818

Fax 218-726-7937

Office Address:
Department of Biomedical Sciences
337 SMed
1035 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

Assistant Professor, Medical School, Duluth Campus

Department of Biomedical Sciences

Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroscience, University of Toronto and Oregon Health & Science University

PhD, Pharmacology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

BS, Pharmacy, Hebei Medical University


Professional Associations


Research Summary/Interests

Synapses are the fundamental units of neural communication in the brain. Using multidisciplinary approaches, we study how synaptic structure and function are precisely shaped during development and how their dysfunction leads to neurological disorders. By understanding the physio-pathological roles of critical synaptic proteins at the cellular, circuitry and system levels, we aim to identify novel targets and further develop pharmacological and genetic therapies for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

Research Methods/Techniques

Multi-electrode patch clamp in vitro and in vivo; Two-photon imaging; Optogenetics; Chemogenetics; mouse behavioral analysis; Transgeneic mouse models.


See also: PubMed

Yang YM, Wang W, Fedchyshyn MJ, Zhou Z, Ding J, Wang LY. Enhancing the fidelity of neurotransmission by activity-dependent facilitation of presynaptic potassium currents. Nat Commun. 5: 4564-77 (2014).

Wang W, Luo J, Hou P, Yang YM, Xiao F, Yuchi M, Qu A, Wang LY, Ding J. Native gating behavior of ion channels in neurons with null-deviation modeling. PLOS one. 8: e77105 (2013).

Yang YM, Aitoubah J, Lauer AM, Nuriya M, Takamiya K, Jia Z, May BJ, Huganir RL, Wang LY. GluA4 is indispensable for driving fast neurotransmission across a high-fidelity central synapse. J Physiol. 589: 4209-27 (2011).

Zhang B, Sun L, Yang YM, Huang HP, Zhu FP, Wang L, Zhang XY, Guo S, Zuo PL, Zhang CX, Ding JP, Wang LY, Zhou Z. Action potential bursts enhance transmitter release at a giant central synapse.J Physiol. 589: 2213-27 (2011).

Yang YM, Fedchyshyn MJ, Grande G, Aitoubah J, Tsang CW, Xie H, Ackerley CA, Trimble WS, Wang LY. Septins regulate developmental switching from microdomain to nanodomain coupling of Ca2+ influx to neurotransmitter release at a central synapse. Neuron. 67: 100-15 (2010).

Wang LY, Fedchyshyn MJ, Yang YM. Action potential evoked transmitter release in central synapses: insights from the developing calyx of Held. Mol Brain. 2: 36 (2009). Review.

Joshi I*, Yang YM*, Wang LY. Coincident activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors and NMDA receptors (NMDARs) downregulates perisynaptic/extrasynaptic NMDARs and enhances high-fidelity neurotransmission at the developing calyx of Held synapse. J Neurosci. 27: 9989-99 (2007). (*Co-first authors)

Yang YM, Wang LY. Amplitude and kinetics of action potential-evoked Ca2+ current and its efficacy in triggering transmitter release at the developing calyx of Held synapse. J Neurosci. 26: 5698-708 (2006).


Teaching Areas

Neurological medicine

Mentor/Advising: undergraduates and postdoctoral fellow