M.D, Ph.D, Principal investigator
Investigates the neural circuit mechanisms of sex differences in emotion and behavior.
Office Phone: 
Lab Website: 


A major challenge in neuroscience lies in understanding how sex differences in the brain, from molecules to circuits, synergistically contribute to sex differences in behavioral displays. All animals have evolved a repertoire of innate behaviors, whilst most of these behaviors display robust sexual dimorphism. Furthermore, many neuro-psychiatric disorders exhibit sex differences in incidence or disease outcomes. Earlier evidence indicate endocannabinoid (eCB) system in brain is organized differently in male and female, and this system is involved in the regulations of innate behaviors, such as feeding and sleep, and that of common neuro-psychiatric illnesses. Therefore, our current interests will focus on using state-of-the-art genetic and optogenetic tools to reveal (1) how eCB system-modulated sex differences in the brain underlies the sexual dimorphisms in innate behavior such as innate fear, arousal and sleep; (2) the role of eCB system in the neural circuitry contributing to the sexually dimorphic neuro-psychiatric disorders.


Positions available in Wang Lab at SIAT

The lab is interested in recruiting highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Fellows to study the underlying neural circuitry mechanisms in innate behaviors and brain disorders. Candidates shall send their CV to



2022-              Brain Cognition and Brain Disease Institute, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Principal Investigator

2018-2022      Brain Cognition and Brain Disease Institute, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Associate Investigator

2013-2015      Institute of Mental Health Research, University of Ottawa, Postdoctoral Fellow 

2012-2018      Department of Anesthesiology, Xijing Hospital, Lecturer and Attending

2009-2012      Department of Anesthesiology, Xijing Hospital, Ph.D

2006-2009      Department of Anesthesiology, Xijing Hospital, M.Sc

2001-2006      Clinical Medicine, The 4rd Military Medical University, M.D

Selected publications

  1. Li XL#, Zhou Y#, Wang F*, Wang LP*. Sex-dimorphic kidney-brain connectivity map of mice. Neurosci Bull. Accepted
  2. Liu JJ#, Ye JL, Ji CY, Ren WT, He YW, Xu FQ*, Wang F*. Mapping the behavioral signatures of Shank3b mice in both sexes. Neurosci Bull. Accepted
  3. Liu XL#, Zhao GY#, Huang HR, Ye JL, Xu JF, Zhou Y, Zhu XJ, Wang LP, Wang F*. Lifespan changes in cannabinoid 1 receptor mRNA expression in the female C57BL/6J mouse brain. J Comp Neurol. 2023 Feb;531(2):294-313.
  4. Liu X#, Feng XL#, Huang H#, Huang K, Xu Y, Ye SW, Tseng YT, Wei PF, Wang LP, Wang F*. Male and female mice display consistent lifelong ability to address potential life-threatening cues using different post-threat coping strategies. BMC Biology. 2022 Dec 15;20(1):281.
  5. Liu X#, Huang H#, Zhang YL, Wang L, Wang F*. Sexual dimorphism of inputs to the lateral habenula in mice. Neurosci Bull. 2022 Dec;38(12):1439-1456.
  6. Liu X#, Huang HR#, Terrance S, Cao P, Wang LP, Wang F*. The superior colliculus: cell types, connectivity and behavior. Neurosci Bull. 2022 Dec;38(12):1519-1540.
  7. Zhang YL#, Ke J#, Zhou Y, Liu X, Huang TW*, Wang F*. Sex-specific characteristics of cells expressing the cannabinoid 1 receptor in the dorsal horn of the lumbar spinal cord. J Comp Neurol. 2022 Oct;530(14):2451-2473.
  8. Yang C#, Liu J#, Wang J, Yin A, Jiang Z, Ye S, Liu X, Zhang X, Wang F*, Xiong L* Activation of astroglial CB1R mediates cerebral ischemic tolerance induced by electroacupuncture. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021;41(9):2295-2310.
  9. Liu X#, Li X#, Zhao G, Wang F*, Wang LP. Sexual dimorphic distribution of cannabinoid 1 receptor mRNA in adult C57BL/6J mice. J Comp Neuro. 2020;528(12):1986-1999.
  10. Wang F#, Han J#, Higashimori H#, Wang J#, Liu J, Tong L, Yang Y, Dong H, Zhang X*, Xiong L*. Long-term depression induced by endogenous cannabinoids produces neuroprotection via astroglial CB1R after stroke in rodents. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2019;39(6):1122-1137.
  11. Yin A#, Wang F*, Zhang Xia. Integrating Endocannabinoid Signaling in the Regulation of Anxiety and Depression. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2019;40(3):336-341.
  12. Liu X#, Chen C#, Liu Y#, Wang Z, Huang K, Wang F* and Wang LP*. Gentle handling attenuates innate defensive responses to visual threats. Front Behav Neurosci 2018;12:239.
  13. Liu X#, Tian F, Wang S, Wang F*, Xiong L*. Astrocyte autophagy flux protects neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation and ischemic/reperfusion injury. Rejuvenation Res. 2018 Oct;21(5):405-415.
  14. Cai Y#, Peng Z#, Guo H, Wang F*, Zeng Y*. TREK-1 pathway mediates isoflurane-induced memory impairment in middle-aged mice. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2017;16;145:199-204.
  15. Wang F#, Li M#, Li X, Kinden R, Zhou H, Guo F, Wang Q*, Xiong L*. 2-Arachidonylglycerol protects primary astrocytes exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation through a blockade of NDRG2 signaling and STAT3 phosphorylation. Rejuvenation Res. 2016;19:215-22.
  16. Wang F#*, Liang W#, Lei C, Kinden R, Sang H, Xie Y, Huang Y, Qu Y, Xiong L*. Combination of HBO and memantine in focal cerebral ischemia: is there a synergistic effect? Mol Neurobiol. 2015;52:1458-66.
  17. Wang F#, Zhong H#, Li X, Peng Y, Kinden R, Liang W, Li X, Shi M, Liu L, Wang Q*, Xiong L*. Electroacupuncture attenuates reference memory impairment associated with astrocytic NDRG2 suppression in APP/PS1 transgenic mice. Mol Neurobiol. 2014;50:305-13.
  18. Wang F#, Gao Z#, Li X, Li Y, Li X, Zhong H, Xu N, Cao F, Wang Q*, Xiong L*. NDRG2 is involved in anti-apoptosis induced by electroacupuncture pretreatment after focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Neurol Res. 2013;35:406-414.
  19. Wang Q#*, Wang F#, Li X#, Yang Q, Li X, Xu N, Huang Y, Zhang Q, Gou X, Chen S, Xiong L*. Electroacupuncture pretreatment attenuates cerebral ischemic injury through alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated inhibition of high-mobility group box 1 release in rats. J Neuroinflammation. 2012; 9:24.