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Liang Oscar Qiang

Liang Oscar Qiang, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy


  • PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics - Drexel University College of Medicine (2009)
  • MS in Anatomy - Nantong University College of Medicine (2003)
  • MD - Nantong University College of Medicine (2000)

Awards & Honors

  • Columbia University, Patent of Human induced neuron induction (2011)
  • Drexel University, Bondi Graduation Award for excellent thesis (2009)
  • Philadelphia Chapter of Society for Neuroscience, 2nd best poster presentation (2008)
  • Drexel University, Bondi Fellowship Award for excellent research student (2007)
  • Drexel University, GRID Critical Research Fellowship (University Grant) (2005)
  • Drexel University, First Place in Platform Presentation, Annual Research Day (2004)
  • Ministry of Transportation, China, Wufu-Zhenghua Fellowship for Outstanding Medical Students (1999)

Memberships / Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Cell Biology
  • American Society for Neuroscience
  • American Society for Neuroscience

Postgraduate Training / Additional Certifications

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia University Medical Center: Asa Abeliovich, Advisor
Liang Oscar Qiang, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Interests

Neurological disease modeling and potential therapies using iPSC-derived neurons, as well as other cellular reprogramming strategies


Dr. Qiang has a strong background in the field of neurodegenerative disease research. He earned his MD and MS degrees from Nantong University in 2000 and 2003, respectively, before completing his PhD at Drexel University in 2009. His doctoral thesis, entitled "Functional Analyses of Microtubule Severing Proteins in the Central Nervous System," showcased his extensive knowledge and expertise in the field. After completing his postdoctoral research at Columbia University Medical Center, where he conducted pivotal research on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, Dr. Qiang joined Angriocrine Bioscience in 2013 as a principal scientist. There, he played a vital role in establishing an in vitro platform of the blood-brain barrier for drug screenings in the central nervous system, as well as a CNS-derived microvasculature environment to support neuronal reprogramming.

In 2015, Dr. Qiang returned to Drexel University, where he now leads a research laboratory that focuses on using human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) based technologies to develop in vitro and ex vivo cellular and tissue models. His lab's research is primarily focused on studying several neurodegenerative disorders, including Tauopathies (such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia) and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP). The primary objective of Dr. Qiang's research is to elucidate the underlying etiology and causative mechanisms of these disorders and identify new molecular targets for treatment therapies via gene therapy and small chemical compounds. His lab is also committed to preclinically testing the therapeutic efficacy of cellular reprogramming-based strategies for treating CNS injuries and diseases.

Learn more about the Qiang Lab.


“A cellular approach to understanding and treating Gulf War Illness”
Yates PL, Patil A, Sun X, Niceforo A, Gill R, Callahan P, Beck W, Piermarini E, Terry AV, Sullivan KA, Baas PW, Qiang L
Cell Mol Life Sci. Nov;78(21-22):6941-6961 (2021)

“Boston biorepository, recruitment and integrative network (BBRAIN): A resource for the Gulf War Illness scientific community”
Keating D, Zundel CG, Abreu M, Krengel M, Aenlle K, Nichols MD, Toomey R, Chao LL, Golier J, Abdullah L, Quinn E, Heeren T, Groh JR, Koo BB, Killiany R, Loggia ML, Younger J, Baraniuk J, Janulewicz P, Ajama J, Quay M, Baas PW, Qiang L, Conboy L, Kokkotou E, O’Callaghan JP, Steele L, Klimas N, Sullivan K
Life Sci. Nov 1;284:119903. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119903. Epub 2021 Aug 26. (2021)

“Therapeutic Strategies for Mutant SPAST-Based Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia”
Mohan N, Qiang L, Morfini G, Baas PW
Brain Sci. Aug 18;11(8):1081 (2021)

“Preparation of Neural Stem Cells and Progenitors: Neuronal Production and Grafting Applications”
Zholudeva LV, Jin Y, Qiang L, Lane MA, Fischer
I.Methods Mol Biol. 2311:73-108 (2021)

“New hypothesis for the etiology of SPAST-based hereditary spastic paraplegia”
Qiang L*, Piermarini E, Baas PW (* corresponding author)
Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 76(4):289-297. doi: 10.1002/cm.21528. 2019

“Tau: It's Not What You Think”
Baas PW, Qiang L
Trends Cell Biol. Jun;29(6):452-461. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2019.02.007. 2019

“Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia: gain-of-function mechanisms revealed by new transgenic mouse”
Qiang L, Piermarini E, Muralidharan H, Yu W, Leo L, Hennessy LE, Fernandes S, Connors T, Yates PL, Swift M, Zholudeva L, Lane MA, Morfini G, Alexander GM, Heiman-Patterson TD, Baas PW
Hum Mol Genet. 28(7):1136-1152. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy419. 2019

"Tau Does Not Stabilize Axonal Microtubules but Rather Enables Them to Have Long Labile Domains"
Qiang L*, Sun X, Austin TO, Muralidharan H, Jean DC, Liu M, Yu W, Baas PW* (* co-corresponding author)
Curr Biol. 28(13):2181-2189.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.05.045. Epub 2018 Jun 28. 2018

"Transplantation of Neural Progenitors and V2a Interneurons after Spinal Cord Injury"
Zholudeva LV, Iyer N, Qiang L, Spruance VM, Randelman ML, White NW, Bezdudnaya T, Fischer I, Sakiyama-Elbert SE, Lane MA
J Neurotrauma. doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5439. [Epub ahead of print] 2018

"The Neuroplastic and Therapeutic Potential of Spinal Interneurons in the Injured Spinal Cord"
Zholudeva LV, Qiang L, Marchenko V, Dougherty KJ, Sakiyama-Elbert SE, Lane MA
Trends Neurosci. Sep;41(9):625-639. doi: 10.1016. 2018

"Reprogramming cells from Gulf War veterans into neurons to study Gulf War illness"
Qiang L, Rao AN, Mostoslavsky G, James MF, Comfort N, Sullivan K and Baas PW
Neurology. 16;88(20):1968-1975. 2017

"Pharmacologically increasing microtubule acetylation corrects stress-exacerbated effects of organophosphates on neurons"
Rao AN, Patil A, Brodnik ZD, Qiang L, España RA, Sullivan KA, Black MM, Baas PW
Traffic. 18(7):433-441. 2017

"Mutant spastin proteins promote deficits in axonal transport through an isoform-specific mechanism involving casein kinase 2 activation"
Leo L, Weissmann C, Burns M, Kang M, Song Y, Qiang L, Brady ST, Baas PW and Morfini G
Hum Mol Genet. 26(12):2321-2334 2017

"Instant neurons: directed somatic cell reprogramming models of CNS disorders"
Qiang L, Inoue K and Abeliovich A
Biol Psychiatry. pii: S0006-3223(13) 01107-4, Dec 22, 2013

"Re-modeling neurodegeneration: somatic cell reprogramming-based models of adult neurological disorders"
Qiang L, Fujita R and Abeliovich A
Neuron 19;78(6):957-69, 2013

"Transcriptome wiring analysis implicates α-Synuclein 3’UTR selection in Parkinson’s disease"
Rhinn H, Qiang L, Yamashita T, Rhee D, Zolin A , Vanti W  and Abeliovich A
Nat. Commun;3:1084. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2032, Sep 25, 2012

"Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor Elicits Formation of Interstitial Axonal Branches via Enhanced Severing of Microtubules"
Qiang L, Yu W, Liu M, Solowska J, Baas PW
Mol Biol Cell. 21 (2): 334-44, Monthly “Incyte” Article of MBoC, a candidate of paper of 2010

"The microtubule-severing proteins spastin and katanin participate differently in the formation of axonal branches"
Yu W*, Qiang L*, Solowska J, Baas PW
Mol Biol Cell. 19 (4): 1485-98 (* co-first author), 2008

"Tau protects microtubules in the axon from severing by katanin"
Qiang L, Yu W, Andreadis A, Luo M and Baas PW
J Neurosci. 26 (12):3120-3129, 2006

"Microtubules cut and run"
Baas PW, Karabay A, Qiang L
Trends Cell Biol. 15(10):518-24, 2005

"Regulation of microtubule severing by katanin subunits during neuronal development"
Yu W, Solowska JM, Qiang L, Karabay A, Baird D, Baas PW
J. Neurosci. 25 (23): 5573-5583, 2005

"Neuronal microtubules: when the MAP is the roadblock"
Baas PW, Qiang L
Trends Cell Biol. 15 (4): 183-187, 2005

"Bidirectional inhibitory interactions between the embryonic chicken metanephros and lumbosacral nerves in vitro"
Silver L, Qiang L, Loudon R, Gallo G
Dev. Dyn. 231 (1): 190-198, 2004

Contact Information

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Lab: QL Room 183
Phone: 215.991.8287
Fax: 215.843.9082