Yang Lab

Amy Yang

Yi-Mei (Amy) Yang, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences



Office Phone



Office Address
337 SMed
1035 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

Mailing Address
Department of Biomedical Sciences
336 SMed
1035 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812


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

PhD, Pharmacology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

BS, Pharmacy, Hebei Medical University


Research 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 Techniques

  • Multi-electrode patch clamp in vitro and in vivo
  • Two-photon imaging
  • Optogenetics
  • Transgenic mouse models

Selected Publications (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Yi-Mei+Yang+Toronto)

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).

Yang - 1

Simultaneous patch clamp and two-photon imaging of cerebellar synapses

Yang - 2

The calyx of Held synapse: an ideal model to study synaptic transmission in high precision

 Yang - 3

Presynaptic K+ channel facilitation dynamically promote high-fidelity neurotransmission