Yi-Mei (Amy) Yang, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences

E-MAIL: ymyang@umn.edu

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.

Our techniques include multi-electrode patch clamp in vitro and in vivo, two-photon imaging, optogenetics, chemogenetics, mouse behavioral analysis, and transgenic mouse models. 

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Chao OY, Yunger R, Yang YM. Behavioral assessments of BTBR T+Itpr3tf/J mice by tests of object attention and elevated open platform: Implications for an animal model of psychiatric comorbidity in autism. Behav Brain Res. 2018 Mar 13;347:140-147.
  • Yang YM, Wang LY. Ageing brains attend a symphony with asynchronous transmitter release. J Physiol. 2017;595(3):613-614.
  • Yang YM, Wang W, Fedchyshyn MJ, Zhou Z, Ding JP, Wang LY. Enhancing the fidelity of neurotransmission by activity-dependent facilitation of presynaptic K+ currents. Nat Commun. 2014;5:4564-4577.
  • 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 2013;8:e77105.
  • Yang YM, Aitoubah J, Lauer AM, Nuriya M, May B, Jia Z, Huganir RL, Wang LY. GluR4 is indispensable for driving fast neurotransmission across a high-fidelity central synapse. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 2011;589:4209-4227.
  • 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. (Lond.) 2011;589:2213-2227.
  • Yang YM, Fedchyshyn MJ, Grande G, Aitoubah J, Tsang CW, Xie H, Ackerley CA, Trimble WS, Wang LY. Septins regulate developmental switch from microdomain to nanodomain coupling of Ca2+ influx to neurotransmitter release at a central synapse. Neuron 2010;67:100-115.
  • Wang LY, Fedchyshyn MJ, Yang YM. Action potential evoked transmitter release in central synapses: Insights from the calyx of Held. Molec Brain. 2009;2:36.
  • 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. 2007;27: 9989-9999. (*Co-first author)
  • 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. 2006;26:5698-5708.
Yi-Mei (Amy) Yang