Research Scientist

Jing Liang, MD., PHD. - USC Professor & Clinical Research Scientist



01/84 MD of Medicine, University of Beijing, P. R. China.

01/84 Residency of OB/GYN, University of Beijing 4th Medical Center, China.

04/94 MD. PhD. in Geriatric Medicine, University of Tokyo,  Japan.

04/94 Postdoc-fellow & Clinical Internship in Geriatric Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.

03/95 Scientist & Instructor, R & D, ASAHI Chemical & Pharmaceutical In. Co., Japan.

08/99-08/00 Postdoctoral, Pharmacology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

08/00-06/01 Postdoctoral, Neuropharmacology, University of California, Los Angeles.

A. Personal Statement

Dr. Liang is a Professor in the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy. Dr. Liang has over 25 years of experience in drug development from exploring compound(s), preclinical trials to clinical trials. Dr, Liang has led her team and identified a flavonoid compound dihydromyricetin (DHM), purified from herbal medication—Hovenia as a candidate for medication for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Liang team found that DHM has a high efficacy on Alzheimer's disease compared with FDA approved medications, such as Memantine. DHM can restore functional GABAergic synapses as well as improve recognition and memory/learning abilities. Notably, based on WHO 2016 report, the worldwide prevalence of AD was estimated to be 26.6 million in 2006, and an estimated 107 million individuals worldwide are expected to have AD by 2050. Therefore, this development provides a hope for people who are suffering from cognation/memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. Dr. Liang lead her team identified the Gephyrin-GABAAR pathway as a new mechanism/molecular target for treatment of central nervous system disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, and Parkinson disease.


2008  NIH Challenge Project Award.

2012  Shen et al., ‘Dihydromyricetin As A Novel Anti-Alcohol Intoxication Medication’. J. Neurosci. Selected as  

‘Hottest Topic in the World’ by Science News and ‘Faculty of 1000 Medication’.

2012 “Faculty of 1000 Medicine” selected

2012  New Scientist Reported, London,  UK.

2012  Science-Technology Reported.

2012  NBC TV Live Interview!/news/local/  The-Buzz-Behind-the-Sobriety-Pill/137299503

2012  ABC Reported, Australia.

2012  National Institute of Health (NIH) Reported

2012 Science News, New York,

2015 Science News, New York, guilty-pleasures-can-you-ease-the-effects-of-drinking-too-much.html#.VWh0mk_BwXA

2016 NewScientist featured report, London, UK

2015  New Scientist Second Report, London, UK.

C. Contribution to Science

1) J. Chen, Y. He, Y. Wu, H. Zhou, LD. Su, WN. Li, RW. Olsen, J. Liang, YD. Zhou, Y. Shen (2018) Single ethanol withdrawal regulates extrasynaptic δ-GABAA receptors via PKCδ Activation. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. In press.

2) RW. Olsen and J. Liang (2017) Invited Review: Role of GABAA receptors in alcohol use disorders. Molecular Brain. 10(1):45. doi: 10.1186/s13041-017-0325-8. Review. PMID:28931433

3) XM. Shao, H. Lopez-Valdes, J. Liang and JL. Feldman: Inhaled nicotine equivalent to smoking disrupts hemodynamics and induces arrhythmia in pregnancy. Nature-Science Report. DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-17301-5, 2017.

4) AK. Lindemeyer, Y. Shen, F. Yazdani, XM. Shao, I. Spigelman, DL. Davies, RW. Olsen, J. Liang: Alpha 2 subunit-containing GABAA receptor subtypes are up-regulated and contribute to alcohol-induced functional plasticity in rat hippocampus. Mol Pharmacol. 92(2):101-112. doi: 10.1124/ mol.116.107797. 

5) J. Liang, KA. Lindemeyer, Y. Shen, H. Lopez-Valdes, H. Martinez-Coria, XM. Shao, RW. Olsen: Dihydromyricetin ameliorates symptoms and reverses neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease in transgenic mouse models. Neurochemical Research. 39(6):1171-81 doi: 10.1007/s11064-014 -1291-5. PMID: 24676702. 2014.

6) J. Liang, Y. Shen, XM. Shao, MB. Scott, E. Ly, S. Wong, A. Nguyen, K. Tan, B. Kwon, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Dihydromyricetin prevents fetal alcohol exposure-induced behavioral and physiological deficits: focus on GABAA receptors. Neurochemical Research. 39(6):1147-61 doi: 10.1007/s11064-014-1304-4 2014..

7) S. Wong, A. Nguyen, K. Tan, B. Kamrava and J. Liang: Novel Alcoholism Mouse Model Exhibits GABAA receptor-Mediated Changes. Undergraduate Scientific Journal. UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal. 27:39-45. 2014.

8) J. Liang, VN. Marty, Y. Mulpuri, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Selective modulation of GABAergic tonic currents by dopamine in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol dependent rats. J. Neurophysiology. 112(1):51-60. doi: 10.1152/jn.00564.2013. 2014.

9) J. Liang, AK. Lindemeyer, A. Suryanarayanan, EE. Meyer, VN. Marty, SO. Ahmad, XM. Shao, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Plasticity of GABAA receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-dependent rats. J. Neurophysiology. 112(1):39-50. doi: 10.1152/jn. 00565.2013. doi: 10.1152/jn.00565.2013. PMID: 24694935. 2014.

10) A K. Lindemeyer, J. Liang, VN. Marty, EM. Meyer, A. Suryanarayanan, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Ethaol-induced plasticity of GABAA receptors in the basolateral amygdala. J. Neurophysiology. 39(6):1162-70. doi: 10.1007/s11064-014-1297-z. 2014.

11) J. Liang and RW. Olsen: Alcohol use disorders and current pharmacological therapies. Invited Review. Acta Pharmacol Sinaca. doi: 10.1038/aps.2014.50. 2014.

12) J. Liang, C. B. Kuo, D. Davies, S. G. Louie, and R. W. Olsen: Challenge in developing a dietary supplement for alcohol use disorders. Alcohol: Clin. Exp. Res. 32 (Supp) p33A, 2013.

13) XM. Shao, B. Xu, J. Liang, XS. Xie, Y. Zhu, and JL.Feldman: Nicotine delivery to rats via lung alveolar region-targeted aerosol technology produces blood pharmacokinetics resembling human smoking. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nts261. PMID: 23239844. 2012.

14) I. Spigelman, J. Liang, A. Suryanarayanan, KA. Lindemeyer, EM. Meyer, V. Marty, and RW. Olsen, Alterations in GABAAR-mediated tonic and phasic inhibition in the nucleus accumbens of rats after chronic intermittent ethanol treatment. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Supplement to 36 (6): 326-, 2012.

15) DL. Davies, M. Bortolato, DA. Finn, MJ. Ramaker, S. Barak, D. Ron, J. Liang, and RW. Olsen: Recent Advances in the Discovery and Preclinical Testing of Novel Compounds for the Prevention and/or treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders. Alcohol: Clin. Exp. Res. 37(1):8-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277. PMID:22671690. 2012.

16) Y. Shen, AK. Lindemeyer, C. Gonzalez, XM. Shao, I. Spigelman, RW. Olsen and J. Liang: Dihydromyricetin As A Novel Anti-Alcohol Intoxication Medication. J. Neurosci. 32(1):390–401, doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4639-11.2012. PMCID: PMC3292407.2012

17) A. Suryanarayanan, J. Liang, EM. Meyer, AK. Lindemeyer, D. Chandra, GE. Homanics, W. Sieghart, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Subunit compensation and plasticity of synaptic GABAA receptors induced by ethanol in α4 subunit knockout mice. Front Neurosci. 23;5:110. doi: 10.3389/ fnins.2011.00110. PMCID:PMC3178803. 2011

18) M. Scott, B. Kwon, V. Mac, E. Ly, I. Chen, A. Aparicio, C. Tu, A. Basa, K. Jeong, Y. Shen, RW. Olsen, and J. Liang: Adolescent drinking behavior is related to fetal alcohol exposure. Alcohol: Clin. Exp. Res. 32 (Supp) p25A, 2011.

19) I. Spigelman, RW. Olsen, J. Liang, A. Suryanarayanan, AK. Lindemeyer, EM. Meyer, Y. Shen, R. Bagnera and V. Marty. Molecular and Functional Changes in Receptors: GABA and Chronic Alcohol Consumption. In: Encyclopedia of Addictive Behaviors. Edited by Peter Miller (Editor-in-Chief) Chapter 130, 2011.

20) J. Liang, Y. Shen, AK. Lindemeyer, I. Spigelman, W. Sieghart, and RW. Olsen: Cultured Hippocampal Neurons Exhibit Ethanol-induced Changes in GABAA Receptors Modeling Plasticity Seen in Rat Brain. Alcohol: Clin. Exp. Res. 33 (Supp) p24A, 2010.

21) Y. Shen, AK. Lindemeyer, I. Spigelman, W. Sieghart, RW. Olsen and J. Liang: Plasticity of GABAA Receptors Following Ethanol Pre-exposure in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons. Mol. Pharmacol., 79, 432- 442. PMCID: PMC3061361. 2010

22) ZJ. Zhang, S. Li, J. Jiang, P. Yu, J. Liang and YQ. Wang: Preventive effects of Flos puerariae lobatae water extract and its active ingredient puerarin in acute and chronic alcohol treated rat and mice model. J. Chinese Medicine. Accepted ID: 1549750510400111. 2010. PMCID: PMC2984509

23) J. Liang, I. Spigelman, RW. Olsen: Tolerance to sedative/hypnotic actions of GABAergic drugs correlates with tolerance to potentiation of extrasynaptic tonic currents of alcohol-dependent rats. J Neurophysiol. 102(1): 224-33. 2009. Epub May 6. PMID:19420124 PMCID: PMC2712270. 2009.

24) J. Liang, EM. Meyer, AK. Lindemeyer, A. Abriam, D. Chandra, GE. Homanics, W. Sieghart, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Compensatory plasticity of synaptic GABAA receptors induced by ethanol intoxication in α4 subunit knockout mice. Alcohol: Clin. Exp. Res. 33 (Supp) p23A, 2009.

25) D. Chandra, DF. Werner, J. Liang, I. Spigelman, RW. Olsen, NL. Harrison, GE. Homanics: Normal acute behavioral responses to ethanol in GABAA receptor α4 subunit knockout mice. Alcohol: Clin. Exp. Res. 32: 10-18, PMCID: PMC2896280. 2008.

26) J. Liang, A. Suryanarayanan, D. Chandra, GE. Homanics, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Functional consequences of GABAA receptor α4 subunit deletion on synaptic and extrasynaptic currents in mouse dentate granule cells. Alcohol Clin Exp Res., Clin Exp Res. 32(1):19-26, Epub Dec 7, PMID:18070250. 2008.

27) S. Mitrirattanakul, H. Lopez-Valdes, J. Liang, Y. Matsuka, K. Mackie, KF. Faull and I. Spigelman: Bi-directional alterations of hippocampal cannabinoid 1 receptors and their endogenous ligands in a rats model of alcohol withdrawal and dependence. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 31(5): 855-867, 2007.

28) J. Liang, A. Suryanarayanan, A. Abriam, B. Snyder, RW. Olsen, and I. Spigelman: Mechanisms of reversible GABAA receptor plasticity after a single intoxicating ethanol dose. J. Neurosci. 27 (45):12367-77. 2007. 

29) D. Chandra, F. Jia, J. Liang, Z. Peng, A. Suryanarayanan, DF. Werner, I. Spigelman, C. Houser, RW. Olsen, NL. Harrison and GE. Homanics: GABAA receptor α4 subunits mediate extrasynaptic inhibition in thalamus and dentate gyrus and the action of gaboxadol. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 103 (41):15230-5, 2006.

30) J. Liang, N. Zhang, E. Cagetti, CR. Houser, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Alcoholism-induced switch of ethanol actions from extrasynaptic to synaptic hippocampal GABAA receptors. J. Neuroscience. (26) 6: 1749 –1758, PMID:16467523. 2006. 

31) RW. Olsen, J. Liang, E. Cagetti, I. Spigelman: Plasticity of GABAA receptors in brains of rats treated with chronic intermittent ethanol. Review. Neurochem Res. 30 (12):1579-88. PMID:16362777. 2005

32) J. Liang, E. Cagetti, RW. Olsen and I. Spigelman: Enhancement of GABAA Receptor-mediated Synaptic Potentials by THIP CA1 Neurons from Chronic Intermittent Ethanol-treated Rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 310:1234- 45, 2004.

33) E. Cagetti, J. Liang, I. Spigelman, RW. Olsen: Withdrawal from chronic intermittent ethanol treatment changes subunit composition, reduces synaptic function, and decreases behavioral responses to positive allosteric modulators of GABAA receptors. Mol Pharmacol. 63(1):53-64. PMID:12488536. 2003.

34) I. Spigelman, Z. Li, J. Liang, E. Cagetti, S. Samzadeh, RM. Mihalek, GE. Homanics, RW. Olsen: Reduced inhibition and sensitivity to neurosteroids in hippocampus of mice lacking the GABAA receptor δsubunit. J Neurophysiol. 90(2):903-10. Epub 2003 Apr 17. PMCID: PMC1142462. 2003. 

35) J. Liang, K. Toba, Y. Ouchi, K. Nagano, M. Akishita, K. Kozaki, M. Ishikawa, M. Eto and H. Orimo: Central vasopressin is required for the complete development of deoxycorticosterone-salt hypertension in rats with hereditary diabetes insipidus. J. Auton Nerv Syst. 12; 62 (1-2):33-9. 1997.

36) K. Toba, K Nagano, J. Liang, Y. Ouchi, and H. Orimo: Clinical assessment of indices for the prognosis of urinary tract infection in elderly patients receiving prophylaxis with norfloxacin. Drugs, 49 Suppl 2:382-383, Japanese, 1995.

37) K. Toba, Y. Ouchi, J. Liang, U. Ueda: Improved skin blood flow and cutaneous temperature in the foot of a patient with arteriosclerosis obliterans by vasopressin V1 antagonist (OPC21268). A Case Report. Angiology, 46(11):1027 -33, Japanese, 1995.

38) K. Toba, T. Ouchi, J. Liang and H. Orimo: Effect of intercerebroventricularly administered a vasopressin V1 antagonist on blood pressure and heart rate in DOC-salt hypertensive rats. J. Autonomic Nervous System. 50:123-129, 1994.

39) K. Toba, T. Ouchi, J. Liang and H. Orimo: Role of central vasopressin in cardiovascular regulation: effect of dehydration and sex. Gerontology 40 (Suppl.): 16-22, Japanese, 1994.

40) K. Toba, J. Liang and T. Ouchi: Central vasopressin (VP) is involved in maintenance of DOC-salt hypertension. Medicine & Pharmacology. 29 (3): 603-629, Japanese, 1993.

41) K. Toba, N Sodoh, T. Ouchi, J. Liang, and H. Orimo: The importance of the host nutritional and immune status on the prognosis of urinary tract infection in the elderly. Japan J Geriatric, 30: 487-496, Japanese, 1993.

42) F. Liu, J. Liang and J. Sun: An epidemiological study of cardiovascular diseases in the elderly population in China. A Ginseng Saponin Study. J. Cardio-Lung-Vascular System 2: 11, Chinese, 1983.

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