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



  • Biandra Louis-XVI

    Biandra Louis-XVI, M.S, LPN - Graduate Volunteer

    I completed my Master of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences in Spring 2021 at FAU while working clinically as a Licensed Practical Nurse. In the Quan lab, I am working on a project that is determining the anti-viral immunity function of the Interleukin-1 receptor. Using biochemical approaches and our highly advanced genetic mouse models, I plan to investigate the novel functions of IL-1R1 on brain cells following viral infection. In addition, I contribute efforts in an autoimmune disease model and elucidating the inflammatory mediators of experimental multiple sclerosis.


  • Samantha McGovern

    Samantha McGovern, M.S - Lab Manager

    I am a Jupiter native and after I pursued my M.S degree in Biological Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Randy Blakely, I joined the Quan lab. As a Lab Manager, I am responsible for all the lab’s administrative operations. In addition, I coordinate and lead several lab projects. My current research is elucidating the anti-viral immunity mechanisms of the Interleukin 1 receptor and it’s link to the glial expressed serotonin transporter. This work has the potential to provide key insights in understanding how neuro-viral infection can impact behavior, such as fatigue and depression.


  • Daniel Nemeth

    Daniel Nemeth- Graduate Student

    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.    


  • Maria Smirnova

    Maria Smirnova- Graduate Student

    I graduated from FAU Wilke’s Honor’s College in Spring 2021 with a B.S. in Neuroscience, I am currently pursuing my PhD studies through the Integrative Biology – Neuroscience program. In the Quan lab, my research interest is investigating the cellular and physiological impact of IL-1R1 expression on granule neurons in the hippocampus, with emphasis on how IL-1R1 modulates synaptic plasticity and memory. 


  • Nuran Kocak

    Nuran Kocak, M.S.- Graduate Student

    Prior to joining the Quan lab, I pursued my Masters degree in Neuroscience at Istanbul University, Turkey, where I investigated the genetic aspects of epilepsy in human patients. Additionally, I worked in Dr. Ozdinler lab’s at Northwestern University which studies corticospinal motor neurons in neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). As a PhD student in the Integrative Biology – Neuroscience program, my research is centered on the developmental patterns of the Interleukin-1 receptor expression. The mapping of IL-1R1 during development may provide key information for potential therapeutic targets for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy which have been link to early life inflammation. Additionally, I am interested in understanding the role of cell-specific IL-1R1 and inflammatory mediators in experimental autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. 


our team members
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