Wang Lab



 Dr. Jun Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Wang is a neurophysiologist specializing in synaptic transmission and plasticity. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. in China. Dr. Wang joined the field of alcohol use disorder in 2004. His early studies found that ex vivo and in vivo exposure to, and withdrawal from, alcohol caused a long-term facilitation of GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor activity in the dorsomedial striatum. In 2012, Dr. Wang obtained an R01 from the NIAAA to investigate alcohol-mediated input-specific and cell type-specific glutatmergic alterations in the dorsal striatum. In 2013, Dr. Wang joined Texas A&M Health Science Center as an Assistant Professor. His group discovered that alcohol consumption potentiated gluatamergic inputs to striatal dopamine D1 receptor-expressing neurons and enhanced GABAergic afferents in D2-neurons. These two types of neurons exerted an opposite role in alcohol consumption. In 2017. Dr. Wang received an U01 grant to study persistent reduction of alcohol-seeking behavior by reveral of alcohol-mediated synaptic plasticity using dual-channel optogenetics.

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 Tengfei Ma, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Interest: Synaptic plasticity and alcohol addiction

Approaches: slice electrophysiology, ex vivo optogenetics, calcium imaging


Dr. Tengfei Ma joined the lab in February 2014 as Postdoctoral Research Associate. He received his PhD in Neuropharmacology at Nanjing Medical University, China. He focuses his research on long-term synaptic plasticity and alcohol addiction. He utilizes dual-channel optogenetics to induce LTP/LTD at the corticostriatal circuit. He also works on various projects investigating the glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission changes in the striatum after alcohol consumption.

 Yifeng Cheng, Ph.D. Student

Research Interest: Cell type-specific control of alcohol consumption

Approaches: behavioral assay, rabies-mediated tracing, confocal microscopy, in vivo optogenetics and chemogenetics


Yifeng joined the lab in January 2014 as a Graduate Student. He investigates how manipulation of different types of dorsostriatal neurons, e.g., D1- and D2-MSNs, alters alcohol consumption in mice using the chemogenetic approach. He also employes in vivo optogenetics to induce LTP or LTD to control operant alcohol-seeking behavior in rats. His third project is to map synaptic inputs to striatal D1- and D2-MSNs using the rabies-mediated monosynaptic tracing technique.

 Jiayi (Ada) Lu, M.D.

Research Interest: alcohol-induced input-specific and cell type-specific plasticity

Approaches: slice electrophysiology, ex vivo optogenetics


Ada joined the lab in November 2015 as a Graduate Student. She is interested in using slice electrophysiology to study alcohol use disorder. She is particularly interested in the alcohol-mediated input-specific and cell type-specfic glutamatergic changes in dorsostriatal neurons. To study this topic, she uses viral-mediated gene delivery to express channelrhdopsine in specific corticostriatal and amygdalostriatal inputs.

 Daisy Wang, M.D., Lab Manager

Approaches: mouse and rat breeding, histology


Daisy received her M.D. in China. She is in charge of mouse/rat breeding and genotyping in the lab. She also conducts histological experiments, two-bottle choice, operant behavioral tests, and stereotaxic infusion.

 Eric Williams


Eric joined the lab in 2015 as an Undergraduate Research. He is interested in training rats to self-administer alcohol in operant chambers.

 Sebastian Melo


Sebastian is majored in Biomedical Sciences and is minored in Neuroscience, and is in the class of 2019. He is interested in rat operant behavior and cell couting using Imaris program. He currently works with Yifeng.

 Nathaniel Teplitskiy


Nathaniel is an undergraduate student at TAMU (’18), where he is majoring in Biology and minoring in Neuroscience. In the spring of 2017, he joined the Wang lab, where he is working with Ada to study alcohol-mediated circuit-specific alteration of glutamatergic transmission. He intends to pursue a career in Medicine.

 Jared Jerger


Jared is a TAMU undergraduate student ('18) majoring in Microbiology and minoring in Neuroscience. He is interested in rat operant behaviors and cell counting using Imaris program. He currently works with Yifeng

 Xueyi Xie


 Emily Disney


Emily Disney is an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Genetics. She is in the class of '19. Emily joined in the lab in July 2017. She works with Daisy and conducts genotyping using PCR. She intends to pursue a research career studying addiction.

 Kayla Woodson


Kayla is a genetics major, part of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2020, and now an undergraduate student in Dr. Wang's research lab. She is working with grad student Ada in the lab. While she is thinking of going to medical school after graduating, she is also keeping her options open and is interested in graduate school.

 Margaret Von Ebers


Maggie joined the lab in March 2018. She is currently working on programming for neuronal network mapping.