Faculty Profile, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan

Faculty Profiles

Sabrina Wang, Ph.D.

Assistant Investigator
Institute of Population Health Sciences


- Ph.D. Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada,1997
- M.Sc. Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada,1988
- B.Sc. Biology, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan,1984


- Assistant Investigator, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Research, Nation Health Research Institutes, Taiwan (2005-present)
- Research Associate/ Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Canada (2001- 2005)
- Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Canada (1997-2001)
- Visiting Research Consultant, EBEWE Arzneimittel, Graz, Austria (1995)
- Research Assistant, Neurosciences Group, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (1988-1990)


1. Adult Neurogenesis and Major Depression Dr. Wangs interest in adult neurogenesis started very early on when this field was just starting to get attentions from the neuroscience community. She is particularly interested in the physiological functions of those adult-born young neurons in the dentate gyrus. She had studied the electrophysiological properties of the adult-born young neurons (Wang et al., 2000) and their potentials in repairing the damaged nervous system (Wang et al., 2004). Another approach she used to access the function of the adult-born young neurons is by using irradiation to block adult neurogenesis and subsequently studying the hippocampus-dependent memory function. In recent years there are both clinical and pre-clinical evidences indicating that adult neurogenesis might play a role in the major depression pathophysiology. She intends to use animal models of major depression to further explore the relationship and functional changes of adult neurogenesis in major depression.

2. Synaptic plasticity Nervous system showed adaptive plastic changes in both physiological and pathological conditions. Synaptic plasticity is one of the plastic changes in the central nervous system besides adult neurogenesis that draws her attention. As a trained electrophysiologist, Dr. Wang uses electrophysiological recording techniques to study synaptic function as her favourite approach to understand the function of the nervous system, particularly the function of hippocampal formation. She used hippocampal slice preparation for the synaptic functional studies. Hippocampus brain slice preparation is ideal for electrophysiological recordings and provided convenient ways for imaging studies and molecular manipulations as well. In the study of major depression pathophysiological changes mentioned above, changes in the synaptic plasticity will be one of her major focuses.


In addition to the main focus on neurogenesis and major depression studies Dr. Wang's laboratory also collaborates with the stem cell center of NHRI on a project studying the neurogenic niche properties. She will use both the co-culture system and ex-vivo culture system to explore the cell-cell interaction and cell-matrix interaction in generating the micro-environment suitable for neurogenesis.


1. Winocur, G., Wojtowicz, J.M., Sekeres, M., Snyder, J.S., Wang, S. Inhibition of neurogenesis interferes with hippocampus-dependent memory function. Hippocampus. 16:26-304. (2006)

2. Wang, S., Kee, N., Preston, E. and Wojtowicz, J.M. Role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in compensating ischemia-induced functional damage. Exp. Brain Res. 165:250-260. (2004)