PhD, Professor
Investigates the neural circuits which regulate the bone metabolism and homeostasis of stem cells.
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Neural circuits play important roles in maintaining the homeostasis of peripheral metabolism and regulating the differentiation of the stem cells . However, the mechanism of neural regulation of peripheral metabolism and myriad of factors which control the differentiation of the stem cells remain unclear. My research interests are mainly focused on how these neural components and niche factors exert influences on bone metabolism and stem cells in disease models. In previous studies we have found that stem cells could arrest the degeneration of cartilage through differentiation and stimulating endogenous cells; we also found that the small molecule (strontium) could directly enhance the osteodifferentiation of the stem cells and promote bone repair through activating Wnt pathway. We have used optogenetic technology to dissect the pivotal role of astrocytes in regulating the differentiation of the stem cells, and enhance the reparative effects of stem cells in stroke and Parkinson disease models. Currently we are using cutting-edge optogenetic technology to dissect the neural circuits which regulated the peripheral bone metabolism and differentiation of stem cells.


Since 2016, Professor at SIAT CAS.
2010, Investigator and associate professor at SIAT CAS.
2008, University of Hong Kong, PhD.
2003, Peking University, MSc
1999, Beijing Medical University, BSc

Selected publications

1. Huang S#*, Li Z#, Liu Y, Gao D, Zhang X, Hao J*, Yang F*. Neural Regulation of Bone Remodeling: Identifying Novel Neural Molecules and Pathways Between Brain and Bone. J Cell Physiol. 2018 Jan 27. doi: 10.1002/jcp.26502.

2. Li Z, Hao J, Duan X, Wu N, Zhou Z, Yang F, Li J, Zhao Z, Huang S. The Role of Semaphorin 3A in Bone Remodeling. Front Cell Neurosci. 2017 Feb 28;11:40

3. Yang F, Liu YH, Tu J, Wan J, Zhang J, Wu BF, Chen SP, Zhou JW, Mu YL and Wang LP. Activated astrocytes enhance the dopaminergic differentiation of stem cells and promote brain repair through bFGF .Nature Communications. 2014 Dec 17;5:5627.

4. Tu J, Yang F, Wan J, Liu YH, Zhang J, Wu BF, Liu YF, Zeng SQ, Wang LP. Light-controlled astrocytes promote human mesenchymal stem cells toward neuronal differentiation and improve the neurological deficit in stroke rats. Glia. 2014 Jan;62(1):106-21

5.Yang F, Tu J, Pan JQ, Luo HL, Liu YH, Wan J, Zhang J, Wei PF, Jiang T, Chen YH and Wang LP. Light-Controlled Inhibition of Malignant Glioma by Opsin Gene Transfer. Cell Death & Disease 2013 Oct 31; 4:e893 .

6. Yang F, Yang D, Tu J, Zheng Q, Cai L, Wang LP. Strontium enhances osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and in vivo bone formation by activating Wnt/catenin signaling. Stem Cells.2011 Jun; 29(6):981-91.

7. Yang F, Leung VY, Luk KD, Chan D, Cheung KM. Mesenchymal stem cells arrest intervertebral disc degeneration through chondrocytic differentiation and stimulation of endogenous cells. Molecular Therapy. 2009 Nov; 17(11):1959-66.

8. Yang F, Leung VY, Luk KD, Chan D, Cheung KM. Injury-induced sequential transformation of notochordal nucleus pulposus to chondrogenic and fibrocartilaginous phenotype in the mouse. Journal of Pathology. 2009 May; 218(1):113-21.