Ning Quan, Ph.D.

Ning Quan

Professor, Biomedical Science | FAU Brain Institute Investigator

5353 Parkside Drive

Jupiter, FL 33458

RF MC17, Room 229H

p: 561-799-8100

Department: Biomedical Science


The focus of my lab is on how the nervous system and immune system form 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 multi-disciplinary 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.


  • 1985, Bioengineering, Huazhong Univ. of Science & Technology, China B.A
  • 1991, Physiology, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN Ph.D
  • 1992, Neuroimmunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC Postdoctoral
  • 1998, Neuroimmunology, National Institute of Mental Health, MD Postdoctoral

Work History

  • 1987-1991 Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Physiology, University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN
  • 1991-1992 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
  • 1992-1995 Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
  • 1995-1998 Intramural Training Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD
  • 1998-2003 Assistant Professor, Oral Biology and Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2003-2009 Associate Professor, Oral Biology and Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • 2009-2019 Tenure Professor, Biosciences and Institute of Behavior Medicine, Ohio State University
  • 2009-2016 Chair, Oral Biology Graduate Program, Ohio State University
  • 2009-present Guest Professor, Sichuan University, China
  • 2017-present Guest Lead Scientist, Hamilton Biotechnology, Wuhan China
  • 2019-present Professor, Dept of Biomedical Science, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and Investigator, Brain Institute, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

Scholarly Activity

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Liu, X., Nemeth, D., McKim, D., Zhu, L., DiSabato, D., Berdysz, O., Gorantla, G., Oliver, B., Witcher, K. G., Wang, Y., Negray,C.,  Vegesna, R., Sheridan, J., Godbout, J.,.Robson, M., Blakely, R. D., Popovich, P.,  Bilbo, S. and Quan, N. Cell-type specific interleukin 1 receptor 1 signaling in the brain regulates distinct neuroimmune activities.  Immunity 2019. 50:1-17.
  • Todd, L., Palazzo, I., Suarez, L., Liu, X., Volkov, L., Hoang, T., Campbell, W., Blackshaw, S., Quan, N and Fischer, A. Reactive microglia and IL1β/IL-1R1signaling mediate neuroprotection in excitotoxin-damaged mouse retina. Journal of Neuroinflammation 2019. 16:118.
  • Zhu, L., Liu, X., Nemeth, D., DiSabato, D., Mckim, D., Oliver, B., Gorantla, G., Berdysz, O.,  Li, J., Ramani, A. and Quan, N. Interleukin-1 causes CNS inflammatory cytokine expression via endothelia-microglia bi-cellular signaling. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 2019, 81:292-304.
  • DiSabato, D., Nemeth, D., Liu, X., Oliver, B., Godbout, J. and Quan, N. Interleukin-1 receptor on hippocampal neurons drives social withdrawal and cognitive deficits after chronic social stress.   Molecular Psychiatry 2020, doi:10.1038/s41380-020-0788-3.
  • Böttcher, M., Müller-Fielitz, H., Sundaram, S.,  Gallet, S., Shionoya, K., Zager,A.,  Quan, N.,  Liu, X., Schmidt-Ullrich, R., Haenold, R.,  Blomqvist, A.,  Engblom, D., Prevot, V. and Schwaninger, M. NF-κB signaling in tanycytes mediates inflammation-induced anorexia. Molecular Metabolism 2020, doi:10.1016/j.molmet.2020.101022
  • Li, M., Wang, Q., Zhao, W., Liu, J., Wang, D., Muhammad, B., Qi, J.,  Chen, X.,  Xiong, Z.,  Zhou, Q., Yang, H., Chen, W., Liu, X., Quan, N., Yang, R., Niu, H. and Yang, Y. IL-1β/IL-1R1 Signaling Induced by Intranasal Lipopolysaccharide Regulates Alpha-Synuclein Pathology in the Olfactory Bulb, Substantia Nigra and Striatum. Brain Pathology 2020, 30:1102–1118.
  • Freria, C., Brennan, F., Sweet, D., Guan, Z., Hall, J., Kigerl, K., Nemeth, D., Liu, X., Lacroix, S., Quan, N. and Popovich, P. Serial systemic injections of endotoxin (LPS) elicit neuroprotective spinal cord microglia through IL-1-dependent cross-talk with endothelial cells. Journal of Neuroscience 2020, 40:9103–9120.
  • Witcher, K., Bray, C., Chunchai, T., Zhao, F., O’Neil, S., Gordillo, A., Campbell, A., McKim, D., Liu, X., Dziabis, J., Quan, N., Eiferman, D., Fischer, A., Kokiko-Cochran, O., Askwith, C. and Godbout, J. TBI causes Chronic Cortical Inflammation and Neuronal Dysfunction mediated by Microglia.  J. Neurosci. 2021, 41:1597–1616.
  • Jaggers, R., DiSabato, D., Loman, B., Allen, J., Godbout, J., Quan, N., Gur, T. and Bailey, M. Stressor-induced reduction in cognitive behavior is associated with impaired intestinal barrier integrity and is dependent upon the LPS-binding protein receptor CD14. Journal of Inflammation Research 2022, 15: 1617–1635.
  • Nemeth, D., Liu, X., McKim, D., DiSabato, D., Oliver, B., Herd, A., Katta, A., Negray, C., Floyd,J., McGovern, S., Pruden, P., Zhutang, F., Smirnova, M., Godbout, J., Sheridan, J., and Quan, N. Dynamic Interleukin-1 Receptor Type 1 Signaling Mediates Microglia-Vasculature Interactions Following Repeated Systemic LPS. Journal of Inflammation Research 2022, 15: 1575–1590
  • DiSabato, D. J., Yin, W, Biltz, R.G., Gallagher, N. R., Oliver, B., Nemeth, D. P., Liu, X.,  Sheridan, J. F., Quan, N., and Godbout, J. P. IL-1 Receptor-1 on Vglut2+ neurons in the hippocampus is critical for neuronal and behavioral sensitization after repeated social stress. BBI-Health 2022, 100547.
  • Floriane Bretheau, Adrian Castellanos-Molina, Dominic Bélanger, Maxime Kusik, Benoit Mailhot, Ana Boisvert, Nicolas Vallières, Martine Lessard1, Matthias Gunzer, Xiaoyu Liu, Éric Boilard, Ning Quan, Steve Lacroix. The alarmin interleukin-1α triggers secondary degeneration through reactive astrocytes and endothelium after spinal cord injury. Nature communication 2022, 13:5786
  • Daniel Nemeth, Numana Luqman, Loretta Chen, and Ning Quan. Aldh1l1-Cre/ERT2 is expressed in unintended cell types of the salivary gland, pancreas, and spleen. Micropublication Biology, doi:10.17912/micropub.biology.000832 2023.
  • Vincent JC, Garnett CN, Watson JB, Higgins EK, Macheda T, Sanders L, et al. IL-1R1 signaling in TBI: assessing chronic impacts and neuroinflammatory dynamics in a mouse model of mild closed-head injury. J Neuroinflammation. 2023;20(1):248.
  • E. J. Goodman, R. G. Biltz, J. M. Packer, D. J. DiSabato, S. P. Swanson, B. Oliver, et al. Enhanced fear memory after social defeat in mice is dependent on interleukin-1 receptor signaling in glutamatergic neurons. Mol Psychiatry, 2024.

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Research Project Funding

  • R21 NS133843 (Quan, PI) 06/1/2023-5/31-2025
    Dynamic regulation of neuroinflammation and IL-1b-trap
  • R21 NS122154 (Quan, Co-PI) 08/1/2021-8/1-2023
    Cell Specific Identification of IL-1R Actions in Acute and Chronic Pain
  • R01 NS116914 (Quan, PI) 4/1/2020-3/31/2025
    Neuroinflammation, Neuronal IL-1R1, and Behavior
  • R21 AI169218-01 (Quan, PI) 2/1/2022-2/1-2024
    IL-1R1, MMP9, and EAE
  • R01 NS103785 (Quan, Co-I) 12/15/18-11/30/23
    Cell-Specific Actions of IL-1 / IL-1R1 Signaling Following Traumatic Brain Injury
  • R01 NS120882 (Quan, Co-I) 7/1/22-6/30/27
    Neuronal IL-1R1 Signaling in Mild Closed Head Injury


  • 1998 Tanaguchi Young Investigator
  • 2001 Stazen Award for Junior Research Scientist
  • 2008 Stazen Award for Senior Research Scientist

Professional Societies

  • 2013-present Journal of Inflammation Research, Editor-in-Chief
  • 2017-2019 Regular study section member of PMDA
  • 2018-present Member, board of directors, PNIRS
  • 2004-2008 Regular study section member (NNB, neuro-endocrine, neuro-immunology, and behavior) of NIH review committee
  • 2010-2017 Ad hoc study section (PMDA) member of NIH review committee

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