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


Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Bretheau, F., Mailhot, B., Bélanger, D., Kusik, M., Lessard, M.,  Vallières, N.,  Quan, N.,  Minami, Y. and Lacroix, S. Release of the alarmin interleukin-1a by spinal cord injured microglia triggers secondary degeneration through reactive astrocytes and endothelial cells. (Nature communication, in press)
  • 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
  • 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. Journal of Neuroscience. 2021, 41:1597–1616.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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,, 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
  • Song, A., Zhu, L., Gorantla, G., Berdysz, O., Amici, S. A., Guerau-de-Arellano, M., Madalena, K. M., Lerch, J. K., Liu, X. and Quan, N. Salient type 1 interleukin-1 receptor expression in peripheral non-immune cells. Rep. 2018. 8:723

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Scholarly Activity

Active Funding

  • R01 MH109165    12/1/2015-12/1/2020    PIAnxiety, IL-1R1, and NeuroinflammationNational Institute of Mental Health
  • R33 MH82118515    8/28/2018-8/28/2020    Co-IThe role of the intestinal microbiome in anxiety and depression
  • R01 NS103785    12/15/2018-11/30/2023    Co-ICell-Specific Actions of IL-1 / IL-1R1 Signaling Following Traumatic Brain 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