Jang-Yen Wu, Ph.D.

Jang-Yen Yen Wu

Professor, Biomedical Science

777 Glades Road

Boca Raton, FL 33431

BC 71, Room 325

p: 561-297-0167


Department: Biomedical Science


Dr. Wu received his Ph.D. from University of California Medical School in San Francisco and later was trained under Nobel Laureate, Dr. Paul Boyer at UCLA. He was on the faculty first at City of Hope National Medical Center, then at Baylor College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Milton Hershey College of Medicine and University of Kansas where he also served as Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology before he joined FAU as Senior Schmidt Fellow and Distinguished Professor in 2002. His research was supported by a combination of national, state and private funding agencies including National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, State of Florida, American Heart Association, Huntington’s Chorea Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Marion Merrell Dow Foundation etc. Dr. Wu’s research focuses on the fundamental principle underlying the normal brain function as well as in brain diseases. Dr. Wu’s group has focused on two of the most abundant neurotransmitters in human brain, namely glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Dr. Wu’s group is the first one to isolate, purify and characterize the GABA synthesizing enzyme, L-glutamate decarboxylase, which has laid the foundation for subsequent elucidation of neuronal circuitry using GABA as a neurotransmitter. Because of this ground breaking work, Dr. Wu was recognized as one of the most cited scientists according to Institute of Scientific Information in 2002. In addition to basic research, Dr. Wu has also been very active in translational research. Dr. Wu has used mechanismbased approach to develop therapeutic intervention for various brain diseases including stroke, Parkinson diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. Some of Dr. Wu’s discoveries were recognized and patents were issued by the U.S. Patent Office including treatment for Parkinson’s disease, stroke and epilepsy.


  • 1963: B.S., Chemistry, National Taiwan University
  • 1968: Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
  • 1968-1970: Post-doctoral training, Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles 

Work History

  • 2008-Present: Affiliated Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University
  • 2002-Present: Professor, Department of Biomedical Science, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.
  • 1996-2002: Professor, Department of Molecular Bioscience, University of Kansas 
  • 1989-1995: Professor and Chairman, Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Kansas
  • 1983-1989: Professor, Department of Physiology, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey Medical Center
  • 1987-1988: Director, Graduate Program, Department of Physiology, The Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey, PA
  • 1975-1983: Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine
  • 1970-1975: Duarte, Assistant, Associate, Senior Scientist and Section Head, City of Hope National Medical Center
  • 1968-1970: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Los Angeles, 
  • 1964-1967: Teaching Assistant, University of California Medical Center

Scholarly Activity

Research Interests

  • Neuroscience, neurotransmitters and neurological disorders

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Representative Peer Review Publications

  • Papers Published in Refereed Journals: 236
  • Papers Published as Review Articles: 42
  • Books edited: 3
  • Patents awarded: 1
  • One of the most cited authors, in the top 0.5%, identified by Current Contents/ISI in 2002
  • Shu, S-Y., Jiang, G., Zeng, Q-Y., Wang, B., Li, H., Ma, L., Steinbusch, H., Song, C., Chan, WY., Chen, X-H., Wu, Y-M., Bao, R., Chen, Y-C., & Wu, J-Y. (2015). The Marginal Division of the Striatum and Hippocampus Has Different Role and Mechanism in Learning and Memory. Molecular Neurobiology, 51(2), 827-839.
  • Gharibani, P., Modi, J., Menzie, J., Alexandrescu, A., Ma, Z., Tao, R., Prentice, H.. & Wu, J. Y. (2015). Comparison between single and combined post-treatment with S-Methyl-N, Ndiethylthiocarbamate sulfoxide (DETC-MeSO) and taurine following transient focal cerebral
  • ischemia in rat brain. Neuroscience, 300, 460-473. Ren, J., Chen, I., Liu, C.H., Chen, P.C., Prentice, H., Wu, J.-Y., and Liu, P.K. (2015). Noninvasive tracking of gene transcript and neuroprotection after gene therapy. Gene Therapy, 1-9.

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  • Society for Neuroscience
  • American and International Society for Neurochemists
  • AAAS

Additional Information
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine offers students a variety of educational programs and degrees.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431