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 60 papers. He publishes in first rate journals, including Neuron, Journal of Neuroscience, Scientific Reports, and Chest. He collaborates with many different groups at UCLA, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Loma Linda University, and USC School of Pharmacy including those of Dr. Jack Feldman in the Dept of Neurobiology, Dr. Ira Kurtz in the  Dept of Medicine, Dr. Zhuang-ting Fang in Dept of Anesthesiology, Dr. Yifang Zhu in the Dept of Environmental Health Sciences, and Dr. Theodore Friedman in the Dept of Internal Medicine at the Charles Drew University.  An accomplishment of Dr. Shao that was consistently mentioned by the outside reviewers, was that he developed an important method for nicotine delivery to rodents. 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 cigarette and e-cigarette smoking. He has received multiple patents and provisional patents for his inventions including a US full patent for Aerosol Generation and Exposure System issued in 2021. Dr. Shao has obtained multiple research grants and small business grants (STTR) from NIH, California Tobacco Related Research Program and UCLA. He is currently a Multiple PI on two NIH grants and a co-Investigator on 5 grants including NIH, DOD and California Tobacco Related Research Program.

  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. 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. 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-Bötzinger 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 22. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2007) Micro-Agar salt bridge in patch-clamp electrode holder stabilizes electrode potentials. Neurosci. Methods 159:108-115. PMID: 16916545.
  23. 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. 24. Shao XM, Tan W, Xiu J, Puskar N, Fonck C, Lester HA and Feldman JL. (2008) a4* nicotinic receptors in preBötzinger Complex mediate cholinergic/nicotinic modulation of respiratory rhythm. 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. Shao XM and Feldman JL. (2009) Central cholinergic regulation of respiration: nicotinic receptors. (review) Acta Pharmacol Sin. 30:761-770. PMID: 1949841
  27. 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.
  28. 28. 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
  29. 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.
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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.
  34. 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
  35. 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. PMID: 24694935. PMCID: PMC4152163.
  36. 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
  37. Kao L, Azimov R, Shao XM, Frausto RF, Abuladze N, Newman D, Aldave AJ, Kurtz I. (2016) Multifunctional ion transport properties of human SLC4A11: comparison of the SLC4A11-B and SLC4A11-C variants. Am J Physiol. Cell physiology 311(5):C820-C830.
  38. Lindemeyer AK, Shen Y, Yazdani F, Shao XM, Spigelman I, Davies DL, Olsen RW, Liang J. (2017) α2 Subunit-Containing GABAA Receptor Subtypes Are Upregulated and Contribute to Alcohol-Induced Functional Plasticity in the Rat Hippocampus. Molecular pharmacol. 92(2):101-112.
  39. Shao XM, López-Valdés HE, Liang J, Feldman JL. (2017) Inhaled nicotine equivalent to cigarette smoking disrupts systemic and uterine hemodynamics and induces cardiac arrhythmia in pregnant rats. Scientific reports 7(1):16974.
  40. Huynh KW, Jiang J, Abuladze N, Tsirulnikov K, Kao L, Shao X, Newman D, Azimov R, Pushkin A, Zhou ZH, Kurtz I.(2018) CryoEM structure of the human SLC4A4 sodium-coupled acid-base transporter NBCe1. Nat Commun. 9(1):900. PubMed PMID: 29500354; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5834491.
  41. Liu Z, Lindemeyer KA, Liang J, Wallner M. Shao XM, Shao Y, Tal Y, Olsen RW. (2018) Flavonoids isolated from Tibetan medicines, binding to GABAAreceptor and the anticonvulsant activity. Phytomedicine 50:1. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.09.198
  42. Shao XM, Liu S, Lee ES, Fung D, Pei H, Liang J, Mudgway R, Zhang J, Feldman JL, Zhu Y, Louie SG, Xie XS. (2018) Chronic intermittent nicotine delivery with lung alveolar region-targeted aerosol technology produces circadian blood pharmacokinetics in rats resembling human smokers. J Appl Physiol. 125(5):1555-1562. doi: 0.1152/japplphysiol.00357.2018. PMID: 30236046
  43. Hasan KM, Friedman TC, Shao X, Parveen M, Sims C, Lee DL, Espinoza-Derout J, Sinha-Hikim I, Sinha-Hikim AP. (2019) E-cigarettes and Western Diet: Important Metabolic Risk Factors for Hepatic Diseases. Hepatology 2019; 69 (6): 2442-2454. doi: 10.1002/hep.30512. PMID:30664268. PMCID: PMC6636679
  44. Shao XM. (2019) High altitude exposure during pregnancy enhances the vulnerability of fetal heart dysfunction to ischemic stress: Epigenetic mechanisms. Int. J. Cardiol. 274: 59-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.09.053
  45. Shao XM, Lopez B, Nathan D, Wilson J, Bankole E, Tumoyan H, Munoz A, Espinoza-Derout J, Hasan KM, Chang S, Du C, Sinha-Hikim AP, Lutfy K, Friedman TC. (2019) A Mouse Model for Chronic Intermittent Electronic Cigarette Exposure Exhibits Nicotine Pharmacokinetics Resembling Human Vapers. J Neurosci. Methods. 326:108376. PMCID: PMC6717674.
  46. Espinoza-Derout J, Hasan KM, Shao XM, Jordan MC, Sims C, Lee DL, Sinha S, Simmons Z, Mtume N, Liu Y, Roos KP, Sinha-Hikim AP, Friedman TC. (2019) Chronic Intermittent Electronic Cigarette Exposure Induces Cardiac Dysfunction and Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) Knockout Mice. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 317(2):H445-H459. PMID:31172811. PMCID: PMC6732484.
  47. Espinoza-Derout J, Shao XM, Bankole E, Hasan KM, Mtume N, Liu Y, Sinha-Hikim AP, Friedman TC. (2019) Hepatic DNA Damage Induced by Electronic Cigarette Exposure Is Associated With the Modulation of NAD+/PARP1/SIRT1 Axis. Front Endocrinol.10:320. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00320. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6558099.
  48. Sun X, Thörn Pérez C, Halemani D N, Shao XM, Greenwood M, Heath S, Feldman JL, Kam K. (2019) Opioids modulate an emergent rhythmogenic process to depress breathing. Elife. 2019 Dec 16;8. doi: 10.7554/eLife.50613. PubMed PMID: 31841107; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6938398.
  49. Kao L, Azimov R, Shao XM (Equal contribution), Abuladze N, Newman D, Zhekova H, Noskov S, Kurtz I. (2020) SLC4A11 Function: Evidence for H+(OH)- and NH3-H+ Transport. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 318(2):C392-C405. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00425.2019. PMID: 31774702
  50. Zhang P, Li Y, Fu Y, Huang L, Liu B, Zhang L, Shao XM, Xiao D. (2020) Inhibition of Autophagy Signaling via 3-methyladenine Rescued Nicotine-Mediated Cardiac Pathological Effects and Heart Dysfunctions. Int J Biol Sci. 16(8):1349-1362. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.41275. PubMed PMID: 32210724; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7085229.
  51. Shao XM and Fang ZT. (2020) Severe Acute Toxicity of Inhaled Nicotine and E-cigarettes: Seizures and Cardiac Arrhythmia. Chest. 157 (3):506-508. Doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.10.008.
  52. Shao XM, Friedman TC. (2020) Pod-mod vs. conventional e-cigarettes: nicotine chemistry, pH, and health effects. J Appl Physiol. 128(4):1056-1058. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00717.2019. Epub 2019 Dec 19. PubMed PMID: 31854246. PMCID: PMC7191502
  53. Shao XM, Friedman TC. (2020) Last Word on Viewpoint: pH Buffer capacity and pharmacokinetics: two remaining questions. J Appl Physiol. 128(4):1063-1064. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00165.2020. PubMed PMID: 32284007.
  54. Silva J, Shao AS, Shen Y, Davies DL,Olsen RW, Holschneider DP,Shao XM, Liang J. (2020) Modulation of Hippocampal GABAergic Neurotransmission and Gephyrin Levels by Dihydromyricetin Improves Anxiety. Front Pharmacol. 11:1008. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.01008. PMID: 32742262. PMCID: PMC7364153
  55. Hasan KM, Friedman TC, Parveen M, Espinoza-Derout J, Bautista F, Razipour MM, Shao XM, Jordan MC, Roos KP, Mahata SK, Sinha-Hikim AP. (2020) Electronic cigarettes cause alteration in cardiac structure and function in diet-induced obese mice. PLoS One. 15(10):e0239671. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239671. PMID: 33002059. PMCID: PMC7529198
  56. Jian J, Zhang P, Li Y, Liu B, Zhang Y, Zhang L, Shao XM, Zhuang J, Xiao D. (2020) Reprogramming of miR-181a/DNA methylation patterns contribute to the maternal nicotine exposure-induced fetal programming of cardiac ischemia-sensitive phenotype in postnatal life. Theranostics. 10(25):11820-11836. doi: 10.7150/thno.48297. PMID: 33052248. PMCID: PMC7546014.
  57. Hasan KM, Munoz A, Tumoyan H, Parveen M, Espinoza-Derout J, Shao XM, Mahata SK, Friedman TC, Sinha-Hikim AP. (2021) Adverse effects of fetal exposure of electronic-cigarettes and high-fat diet on male neonatal hearts. Exp Mol Pathol. 118:104573. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2020.104573. PMID: 33212125. PMCID: PMC8501912.
  58.  Liu Z, Silva J, Shao AS, Liang J, Wallner M, Shao XM, Li M, Olsen RW. (2021) Flavonoid compounds isolated from Tibetan herbs, binding to GABAAreceptor with anxiolytic property. J Ethnopharmacol. 267:113630. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113630. PMID: 33246118
  59. Walayat A, Li Y, Zhang Y, Fu Y, Liu B, Shao XM, Zhang L, Xiao D. (2021) Fetal e-cigarette exposure programs a neonatal brain hypoxic-ischemic sensitive phenotype via altering DNA methylation patterns and autophagy signaling pathway. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 321(5):R791-R801. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00207.2021. PMID: 34524928, PMCID: PMC8616627.
  60. Al Omran AJ, Shao AS, Watanabe S, Zhang Z, Zhang J, Xue C, Watanabe J, Davies DL, Shao XM, Liang J. (2022) Social isolation induces neuroinflammation and microglia overactivation, while dihydromyricetin prevents and improves them. J Neuroinflammation.9(1):2. doi: 10.1186/s12974-021-02368-9. PubMed PMID: 34983568; PMCID: PMC8724741.
  61. Watanabe S, Omran AA, Shao AS, Xue C, Zhang Z, Zhang J, Davies DL, Shao XM, Watanabe J, Liang J. (2022) Dihydromyricetin improves social isolation-induced cognitive impairments and astrocytic changes in mice. Sci Rep.12(1):5899. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-09814-5. PubMed PMID: 35393483. PMCID: PMC8989100.
  62. Espinoza-Derout J, Shao XM, Lao CJ, Hasan KM, Rivera JC, Jordan MC, Echeverria V, Roos KP, Sinha-Hikim AP, Friedman TC. (2022) Electronic Cigarette Use and the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases. Front Cardiovasc Med. 9:879726. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.879726. PMID: 35463745, PMCID: PMC9021536