Dr. Yingfei Wang obtained her Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience at the University of Magdeburg in Germany and completed her postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Currently Dr. Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and Neurology at UT Southwestern. 

Dr. Wang studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cell death using in vitro and in vivo models of neurodegenerative diseases and cancers. The current research topics are 1) mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration; 2) DNA damage- and oxidative stress-induced cell death, especially poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) dependent cell death (parthanatos) in neurons as well as cancer cells. PARP-1 is a nuclear enzyme and plays an important role in cell death through a caspase-independent manner after ischemia-reperfusion injury, glutamate excitotoxicity and various inflammatory responses, as well as other neurologic and non-neurologic diseases. We recently identified a novel PARP-1 activity associated nuclease (PAAN) as the executioner of parthanatos (Wang Y., et al. Science, 2016). Our studies have made significant contributions in understanding parthanatos in ischemic brain injury. Currently, our lab is using a combination of tools, including epigenetics, bioinformatics, proteomics and mouse genetics, to understand the cell signaling and regulation of PARP-1 dependent DNA damage and cell death in human cancers as well as neurologic diseases. Our overall goals are to identify novel therapeutic targets and translate the knowledge to prevent neuron loss but enhance cancer cell death.

Research Interest

  • Cell Death and Survival
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration
  • Nuclease
  • PARP-1 and DNA Damage
  • Stroke and brain injury


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Epigenetic regulators: multifunctional proteins modulating hypoxia-inducible factor-a protein stability and activity
Luo W, Wang Y Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 2017
HIF repressors under chronic hypoxia.
Luo W, Wang Y Aging (Albany NY) 2016 Mar
PRDX2 and PRDX4 are negative regulators of hypoxia-inducible factors under conditions of prolonged hypoxia.
Luo W, Chen I, Chen Y, Alkam D, Wang Y, Semenza GL Oncotarget 2016 Feb
PHD3-mediated prolyl hydroxylation of nonmuscle actin impairs polymerization and cell motility.
Luo W, Lin B, Wang Y, Zhong J, O'Meally R, Cole RN, Pandey A, Levchenko A, Semenza GL Mol. Biol. Cell 2014 Sep 25 18 2788-96
New synaptic and molecular targets for neuroprotection in Parkinson's disease.
Calabresi P, Di Filippo M, Gallina A, Wang Y, Stankowski JN, Picconi B, Dawson VL, Dawson TM Mov. Disord. 2013 Jan 28 1 51-60
Proteinase-activated receptors, nucleotide P2Y receptors, and µ-opioid receptor-1B are under the control of the type I transmembrane proteins p23 and p24A in post-Golgi trafficking.
Luo W, Wang Y, Reiser G J. Neurochem. 2011 Apr 117 1 71-81
Trypsin and trypsin-like proteases in the brain: proteolysis and cellular functions.
Wang Y, Luo W, Reiser G Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 2008 Jan 65 2 237-52
Activation of protease-activated receptors in astrocytes evokes a novel neuroprotective pathway through release of chemokines of the growth-regulated oncogene/cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant family.
Wang Y, Luo W, Reiser G Eur. J. Neurosci. 2007 Dec 26 11 3159-68
Protease-activated receptors in the brain: receptor expression, activation, and functions in neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.
Luo W, Wang Y, Reiser G Brain Res Rev 2007 Dec 56 2 331-45
p24A, a type I transmembrane protein, controls ARF1-dependent resensitization of protease-activated receptor-2 by influence on receptor trafficking.
Luo W, Wang Y, Reiser G J. Biol. Chem. 2007 Oct 282 41 30246-55


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • CPRIT HIHR Award
  • R35 Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award
  • Welch Research Award
  • Darrell K Royal (DKR) Research Award
  • Texas Institute for Brain injury and Repair (TIBIR) Pilot Grant
  • UT Rising Star Award
  • American Heart Association (AHA) National Scientist Development Grant Award
  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)
  • American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
  • Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Student Abroad
  • Summa cum laude for Ph.D dissertation
  • German Research Foundation DFG Scholarship

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Member of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (2015)
  • Member of American Heart Association (AHA) (2012)
  • Associate Faculty Member of Faculty of 1000 Biology (2011-2012)
  • Member of Society for Neuroscience (2007)