Ning Quan, Ph.D.

Our Research

The focus of my lab is how the nervous system and immune system forms a combined neuroimmune suprasystem. We are interested in understanding how these two systems communicate with each other to modulate each other's function. We use multiple techniques in molecular biology, neuroscience, and immunology to accomplish this goal. This multidisciplinary approach creates an ideal environment for training students on broad biomedical research subjects. Advanced technologies such as FACS analysis, cloning, in-cell Western, patch-clamping electrophysiology, production of transgenic mouse and targeted transgenesis, and behavioral analysis are employed in my laboratory. Our current research led to the discovery of the euflammatory process which can be used to design vaccine-based induction of immune responses as well as bacterial based cancer therapy. We are also conducting detailed analysis on cell-type specific actions mediated by IL-1R1 using several lines of transgenic animals we created. This research has led to the identification of specific pathways related to the pathogenesis of various psychopathology caused by CNS inflammation. A very exciting new area we are exploring is the direct action of the inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1, on remodeling of neuro-circuits in the central nervous system via its receptors expressed on neurons. This research could reveal the neurophysiology of immunity and the molecular basis of neuroinflammation mediated psychopathology.

Ning Quan, Ph.D.


Ning Quan, Ph.D.

Professor of Biomedical Science
PhD, Physiology, University of Tennessee
BS, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Lab Members
  • Xiaoyu Liu

    Xiaoyu Liu

    I have a strong interest in neuroimmunology. My research aims to elucidate the mechanism of how inflammatory activities affect the brain. Different from the current dogma that inflammation mediates mostly detrimental effects to the central nervous system, my findings have unveiled beneficial influence of peripheral inflammation on the brain and many critical physiological functions of inflammatory mediators. During my PhD study, I have received broad training on immunology, neuroscience, behavioral science and molecular biology. My previous work focuses on the influence of IL-1 in the context of CNS inflammation. I have developed a very useful genetic mouse model and shared it with many labs across the world. I am currently working on different disease models for studying neurological disorders with an (potentially) immunological etiology including experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and peripheral inflammation mediated affective disorders.
  • Xi Le

    Xi Le

    Stroke is the most common neurological cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Very few therapeutic options are available currently. An effective treatment is the use of tissue plasminogen activator(tPA), but this treatment has a very narrow time window which makes it difficult to apply to the majority of the patients. Cell therapies have been used successfully in different hematological diseases, which may serve as an alternative for the treatment of cerebral stroke. Stem cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) secrete a variety of bioactive substances, including trophic factors and extracellular vesicles (EVs), into the injured brain, which could stimulate enhanced neurogenesis, angiogenesis, and neuroprotection. My research focuses on understanding how MSCs modulate inflammatory environment during stroke, thereby stimulating endogenous neurogenesis and angiogenesis.  
  • Danny Nemeth

    Danny Nemeth

    I am a Graduate Student and CTOC T32 training grant recipient from The Ohio State University working with Dr. Ning Quan to dissect the functional mechanisms of cell type specific Interleukin-1 Receptor 1 (IL-1R1) in the central nervous system (CNS). My primary focus is determining if neurons can encode an immunological signal into changes in neuronal connectivity via IL-1R1, which we term as "Immune- to- Neural Memory". My line of research will dissect how neural encoding of immune signals can lead to the manifestation of either aberrant or beneficial behaviors. Ultimately, I aim to unveil neuro-immune related mechanisms of affective disorders and cognitive decline. Additionally, I am working with a model of sub-chronic peripheral inflammation that dynamically alters microglia, the resident tissues macrophages of the CNS.   
Lab Publications


Ning Quan, Ph.D.    |    FAU Brain Institute    |    5353 Parkside Drive, RF 228    |    Jupiter, FL33458    |    561.799.8100    |



FAU Brain Institute Jupiter campus
Room 107, MC-17
5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, FL 33458
Phone: 561.799.8100   |   Fax: 561.799.8156
FAU Brain Institute Boca Raton campus
Room 103A, SE-43
777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: 561.297.4989