Xuesi (Max) Shao, M.D.

Xuesi (Max) Shao, M.D.


(310) 825-4275

Department of Neurobiology 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Rm 73-124 CHS Los Angeles, CA 90095-1763 (Campus Mail Code 176318)

Research interest:


Dr. Max Shao is an expert in neurophysiology and respiratory physiology. He works on a diverse range of scientific problems, including the role of nicotine on the modulation of breathing, membrane electrogenic transporters, and drug development aimed at Alzheimer’s disease therapy. He is most noted for his research on nicotine and modulation of neurons in the pre-Botzinger Complex (a brainstem area critical to breathing). He published over 35 papers. He publishes in first rate journals, including Journal of Neuroscience and the Journal of Neurophysiology. He collaborates with many different groups at UCLA, including those of Dr. Jack Feldman in the Department of Neurobiology, and Dr. Ira Kurtz in Department of Medicine. An accomplishment of Dr. Shao that was consistently mentioned by the outside reviewers, was that he developed an important method for nicotine delivery to rats. His technique allows for delivery of specific doses of nicotine to the circulatory system via the lungs. Based on aerosol technology his approach emulates the pharmacokinetics of nicotine delivery in humans through cigarettes and e-cigarettes. This research was published in a first author paper in Nicotine and Tobacco Research, and he has received a provisional patent for this technique. Also noteworthy is a first author paper published with Dr. Kurtz, in which Dr. Shao described an improved method to measure electrogenic currents across cell membranes—these currents are critical to maintaining the appropriate electrical and ionic gradients within cells. Dr. Shao’s method is based on the manipulation of the different concentrations of substrates, as opposed to the pharmacological blockade of specific transporters. This method was published in BMC Biophysics in 2014. Dr. Shao is currently a co-Investigator on two R01 grants. He is also one of two PI’s on a NIDA R44 grant that ends in May 2016. This Small Business Innovative Research Grant was to develop the nicotine delivery system that has resulted in a provisional patent.


1. Shao X and Chen P. (1987) Normalized auto- and cross-covariance functions for neuronal spike train analysis. Int J Neurosci 34:85-95. PMID: 3610506.

2. Shao X and Chen P. (1988) Statistical signal analysis for neural spike trains. I. The statistical properties of unit activity of neurons. Acta Biophysica Sinica 4(3):241-246.

3. Shao X and Chen P. (1988) Statistical signal analysis for neural spike trains. II. Quantitative analysis for neuronal responses. Acta Biophysica Sinica 4(4):322-330.

4. Yakel JL, Shao XM and Jackson MB. (1990) The selectivity of the channel coupled to the 5-HT3 receptor. Brain Res 533:46-52. PMID: 1707717.

5. Yakel JL, Shao XM and Jackson MB. (1991) Activation and desensitization of the 5-HT3 receptor in a rat glioma x mouse neuroblastoma hybrid cell. J Physiol 436:293-308. PMID: 1648131. PMCID: PMC1181506.

6. Shao XM, Yakel JL and Jackson MB. (1991) Differentiation of NG108-15 cell alters channel conductance and desensitization kinetics of the 5HT3 receptor. J Neurophysiol 65:630-638. PMID: 1711105.

7. Shao XM and Papazian DM. (1993) S4 mutations altered single-channel gating kinetics of Shaker K+ channels. Neuron 11:343-352. PMID: 8352942.

8. Papazian DM, Shao XM, Seoh S-A, Mock AF, Huang Y and Wainstock DH. (1995) Electrostatic interactions of S4 voltage sensor in Shaker K+ channel. Neuron 14:1293-1301. PMID: 7605638.

9. Shao XM and Tsau Y. (1996) Measures and statistical tests for cross-correlation between paired neuronal spike trains with small sample size. J Neurosci Methods 70:141-152. PMID: 9007753

10. Shao XM. (1997) Parametric survival analysis for gating kinetics of single potassium channel. Brain Res 770:96-104. PMID: 9372208.

11. Shao XM. (1997) An efficient algorithm for the exact test on the 2XJ contingency table with equal column sums. Computational Statistics and Data Analysis 25:273-285. DOI: 10.1016/S0167-9473(97)00010-8

12. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (1997) Respiratory rhythm generation and synaptic inhibition of expiratory neurons in pre-Botzinger Complex: Differential roles of glycinergic and GABAergic neural transmission. J Neurophysiol 77:1853-1860. PMID: 9114241.

13. Rekling JC, Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2000) Electrical coupling and excitatory synaptic transmission between rhythmogenic respiratory neurons in the preBötzinger Complex. J Neurosci 20: RC113. PMID: 11090613.

14. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2000) Acetylcholine modulates respiratory pattern: Effects mediated by M3-like receptors in preBotzinger Complex inspiratory neurons. J Neurophysiol 83: 1243-1252. PMID: 10712452.

15. Lai J, Shao XM, Pan RW, Dy E, Huang CH and Feldman JL. (2001) RT-PCR reveals muscarinic acetylcholine receptor mRNA in the preBötzinger Complex. Am J Physiol -Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 281: L1420-1424. PMID: 11704538.

16. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2001) Mechanisms underlying regulation of respiratory pattern by nicotine in preBötzinger Complex. J. Neurophysiol 85:2461-2467. PMID: 11387392.

17. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2002) Pharmacology of nicotinic receptors in preBötzinger Complex that mediate modulation of respiratory pattern. J Neurophysiol 88:1851-1858. PMID: 12364511.

18. Shao XM, Ge Q and Feldman JL. (2003) Modulation of AMPA receptors by cAMP-dependent protein kinase in preBötzinger Complex inspiratory neurons regulates respiratory rhythm in the rat. J Physiol 547:543-553. PMID: 12562968. PMCID: PMC2342649.

19. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2005) Cholinergic neurotransmission in the preBötzinger Complex modulates excitability of inspiratory neurons and regulates respiratory rhythm. Neuroscience 130:1069-1081. PMID: 15653001.

20. Feng J-M, Hu YK, Xie L-H, Colwell CS, Shao XM, Sun X-P, Chen B, Tang H and Campagnoni AT. (2006) Golli Protein Negatively Regulates Store Depletion-Induced Calcium Influx in T Cells. Immunity 24:717-727. PMID: 16782028.

21. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2007) Efficient measurement of endogenous neurotransmitters in small localized regions of central nervous systems in vitro with HPLC. J Neurosci Methods 160:256-263. PMID: 17092561. PMCID: PMC2441908.

22. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2007) Micro-Agar salt bridge in patch-clamp electrode holder stabilizes electrode potentials. J. Neurosci. Methods 159:108-115. PMID: 16916545.

23. Tan W, Janczewski WA, Yang P, Shao XM, Callaway EM and Feldman JL. (2008) Rapid silencing of preBötzinger Complex somatostatin-expressing neurons induces persistent apnea in adult awake rats. Nature Neuroscience 11:538-540. PMID: 18391943. PMCID: PMC2515565

24. Shao XM, Tan W, Xiu J, Puskar N, Fonck C, Lester HA and Feldman JL. (2008) 4* nicotinic receptors in preBötzinger Complex mediate cholinergic/nicotinic modulation of respiratory rhythm. J. Neurosci 28:519-528. PMID: 18184794.

25. Xiao C, Shao XM, Olive FM, Griffin III WC, Li K-Y, Krnjević K, Zhou C, and Ye J-H. (2009) Ethanol facilitates glutamatergic transmission to dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Neuropsychopharmacology 34:307-318. PMID: 18596684. PMCID: PMC2676579.

26. Kao L, Kurtz LM, Shao X et al. (2011) Severe Neurologic Impairment in Mice with Targeted Disruption of the Electrogenic Sodium Bicarbonate Cotransporter NBCe2 (Slc4a5 Gene) J Biol Chem 286: 32563-32574. PMID: 21705333. PMCID: PMC3173174.

27. Kao L, Abuladze N, Shao XM, McKeegan K and Kurtz I. (2012) A new technique for multiple re-use of planar patch clamp chips. J Neurosci Methods 208:205-10. PMID: 22609774

28. Shen Y, Lindemeyer AK, Gonzalez C, Shao XM, Spigelman I, Olsen RW, Liang J (2012). Dihydromyricetin as a novel anti-alcohol intoxication medication. J Neurosci 32: 390-401. PMID: 22219299. PMCID: PMC3292407.

29. Tan W, Sherman D, Turesson J, Shao XM, Janczewski WA, Feldman JL. (2012) Reelin demarks a subset of preBötzinger Complex neurons in adult rat. J Comp Neurol 520: 606-619. PMID: 21858819

30. Shao XM, Xu B, Liang J, Xie XS, Zhu Y and Feldman JL (2013) Nicotine delivery to rats via lung alveolar region-targeted aerosol technology produces blood pharmacokinetics resembling human smoking. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 15:1248–1258. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/nts261. PMID: 23239844

31. Zhu Q, Shao XM, Kao L, Azimov R, Weinstein AM, Newman D, Liu W and Kurtz I (2013) Missense mutation T485S alters NBCe1-A electrogenicity causing proximal renal tubular acidosis. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 305:C392-405. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00044.2013. PMID: 23636456

32. Liang J, Shen Y, Shao XM, Scott MB, Ly E, Wong S, Nguyen A, Tan K, Kwon B, Olsen RW, Spigelman I. (2014) Dihydromyricetin prevents fetal alcohol exposure-induced behavioral and physiological deficits: the roles of GABAA receptors in adolescence. Neurochem Res. 39:1147-1161. DOI: 10.1007/s11064-014-1291-5. PMID: 24676702.

33. Liang J, Lindemeyer KA, Shen Y, Lopez-Valdes H, Martinez-Coria H, Shao XM, Olsen RW (2014) Dihydromyricetin ameliorates behavioral deficits and reverses neuropathology of transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurochem Res. 39:1171–1181. DOI 10.1007/s11064-014-1304-4. PMID:24728903

34. Liang J, Lindemeyer AK, Suryanarayanan A, Meyer EE, Marty VN, Ahmad SO, Shao XM, Olsen RW and Spigelman I (2014) Plasticity of GABAA receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the nucleus accumbens of alcohol-dependent rats. J. Neurophysiology. 112:39-50. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00565.2013. PMID: 24694935.

35. Shao XM, Kao L and Kurtz I (2014) A novel delta current method for transport stoichiometry estimation. BMC Biophys. 7:14. doi: 10.1186/s13628-014-0014-2. PMID: 25558372. PMCID: PMC4274721

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