Prof. N. Abumaria

Principal Investigator

Research Directions
1. Molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity and cognitive functions/dysfunctions. 2. Studying neural mechanisms underlying adaptive decision making to switch behavior in response to repeated failure and/or uncontrollability. 
Contact  Information
Address: Room B5-012, Research Building B, 131 Dong An Road, Institute of Brain Science, Fudan University, Shanghai China 200032

Email: abumaria@fudan.edu.cn

Dr. Nashat Abumaria is a professor and principal investigator at the State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, MOE Frontiers Center for Brain Science and Institutes of Brain Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, since 2015. He obtained his PhD degree from the University of Göttingen in Germany within the International Max-Planck Research Program for Neuroscience (IMPRS). Program Dean is the Nobel laureate Erwin Neher. Dr. Abumaria was supported by the prestigious Christoph-Lichtenberg fellowship by the Government of Lower-Saxony. He is trained as molecular and behavioral neuroscientist. He did a short postdoc fellowship in Prof. Eberhard Fuchs’ Lab (Winner of the German presidential award for lifetime achievement), German Primate Center, Goettingen, Germany. Using the animal model of depression developed by him and his colleagues, he tested the efficacy of newly developed antidepressant drugs by two major pharmaceutical companies in Europe. In 2007, he moved to China and did a postdoc fellowship in Prof. Liu Guosong’s Lab at School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. In 2011, he was appointed as research associated professor in Department of Basic Medical Science, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University. His work in Tsinghua University focused on mechanisms of enhancing synaptic plasticity and cognitive functions including fear memories (In collaboration with Susumu Tonegawa’s Lab in MIT and Min Zhou’s lab in Toronto University). Dr. Abumaria has published in total more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific papers. He is awarded several research grants including China postdoctoral research funding, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) grant for young investigator as well as several other NSFC grants, 973 Science & Technology and 985 talent recruitment grants. He is currently serving as editor, associated editor and/or reviewer for several scientific journals. 

Dr. Abumaria’s Lab for Emotion and Cognition is interested in elucidating neural mechanisms underlying aversive memories, normal memories, adaptive decision making and associated cognitive disorders. Our methodologies include using new genetic strategies, established behavioral tests, known disease models, newly developed and validated animal models as well as chemogenetics, optogenetics, microdialysis, in vivo recordings, two photon microscopy imaging (in freely moving animals) to elucidate neural mechanisms from molecule to behavior and vice a versa. The lab is the first in the world to generate an animal model relevant to give up/quitting behavior in response to failure in rodents. They are the first to uncover the role of TRPM7 in synaptic plasticity and cognitive functions in the mammalian brain and discover the link between downregulation of TRPM7 and Alzheimer’s disease.


Enrollment Major


Selected Publications

1. Li CQ, Sun TP, Zhang YM, Gao Y, Sun Z, Li W, Cheng HP, Gu Y*, Abumaria N*(2023). A neural circuit for regulating a behavioral switch in response to prolonged uncontrollability in mice. Neuron. 111(17):2727-2741.e7. Highlighted and previewed by the journal: “Locus of control: How the brain gives up when failure is taken for granted”.

2. Zhang SM, Cao FF, Li W*, Abumaria N*(2023). TRPM7 kinase activity induces amyloid-beta degradation to reverse synaptic and cognitive deficits in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Sci Signal. 16(793): eade6325. Highlighted by editors: “TRPM7 phosphorylates amyloid away”.

3. Chang JZ, Guo BQ, Gao Y, Li W, Tong XY, Feng Y*, Abumaria N*(2023). Characteristic Features of Deep Brain Lymphatic Vessels and Their Chronic Stress. Research. 6: 120. Highlighted and reported by Chinese Academy of Science media “the discovery of lymphatic vessels deep in brain tissue”.

4. Liu YQ, Chen C, Liu YL, Li W, Wang ZH, Sun QF, Zhou H, Chen XJ, Yu YC, Wang Y, Abumaria N*(2018). TRPM7 is required for normal synapse density, learning, and memory at different developmental stages. Cell Rep. 23(12): 3480-3491. Cover Article.

5. Slutsky I#, Abumaria N#, Wu LJ, Huang C, Zhang L, Li B, Zhao X, Govindarajan A, Zhao MG, Zhuo M, Tonegawa S, Liu G* (2010). Enhancement of Learning and Memory by Elevating Brain Magnesium. Neuron. 65: 165-177 (#Equal contribution). Highlighted and previewed by the journal: “Kalzium Ist Nicht Alles”. Clinical trials were launched in the United States to test the efficacy of the developed preparation (Cyranoski, Nature news, 2012; Liu et al., Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2016).

Full Publications:


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