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Charles Y. Shao, MD, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor

Department of Pathology

Division of Surgical and Neuropathology

Office location: BSB 4-113

Tel: (718) 270- 6755

Fax: (718) 270-3313








Research Interest Summary

I am interested in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) the most common form of memory disorders. Accumulating evidence has indicated that synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP) that underlines learning and memory is impaired in AD.  I currently focus on an unique molecule called PKMzeta that plays a critical role in LTP maintenance and memory function in living animals.  I have found that PKMzeta associates with a variety of AD pathology that mark changes of postsynaptic structures such as Hirano bodies (dendritic spines), perisomatic granules (AMPA receptors) and granulovacular degeneration.  I postulate that PKMzeta regulate these structures during memory formation and their aggregation during AD lead to memory loss. Using primary cultures of hippocampal neurons, I demonstrate that PKMzeta indeed positively regulates synaptic structures and AMPA receptors.  Further studies will explore what alters PKMzeta in neurons  and how PKMzeta may play a role in combating AD.


PKMzeta in AD hippocampal pathology. a. Hirano body (HB).  b. Granulovacuolar degeneration (GVD).  c. Perisomatic granules (PSG) are immunoreactive for anti-GluR2 antibody. d-f. PKMzeta immunoreactivity in HB, GVD and PSG. 












Selected Publications

Shao, C.Y., R. Sondhi, T.C. Sacktor,  PKMzeta regulates PSD-95 and AMPA receptor trafficking in hippocampal neurons.  2007 Society for Neuroscience. Abstract.

Shao, Charles Y., Rachna Sondhi, William Oxberry, Matthew T. Kelly, Suzanne . Mirra, Todd C. Sacktor.   Protein kinase M zeta regulates AMPA receptors on hippocampal neurons linking long term synaptic plasticity to Alzheiemr’s disease.  Brain Pathology  2006; 16:s159

Shao CY, Crary JF, Rao C, Sacktor TC, Mirra SS.  Atypical Protein Kinase C in Neurodegenerative Disease II:  PKCi/l in Tauopathies and a-Synucleinopathies.  J. Neuropath. Exp. Neurol. 2006; 65:327-335.

Crary JF*, Shao CY*, Mirra SS, Hernandez AI, Sacktor TC. Atypical Protein Kinase C in Neurodegenerative Disease I:  PKMzeta Aggregates with Limbic Neurofibrillary Tangles and AMPA Receptors in Alzheimer’s Disease.  J. Neuropath. Exp. Neurol. 2006; 65:319-326.  *equal contributions

Shao, Y., M. Gearing, and S. S. Mirra.  Astrocyte-apolipoprotein E (apoE) associations in senile plaques in Alzheimer’s disease and vascular lesions:  A regional immunohistochemical study.  J. Neuropath. Exp. Neurol. 1997; 56:376-381.

Shao, Y. and K.D. McCarthy  Responses of Bergmann glia and granule neurons in situ to N-methyl-D-aspartate, norepinephrine and high potassium:  Implication of neuron-glia interaction.  J. Neurochemistry 1997; 68:2405-2411

Shao, Y. and K.D. McCarthy   Receptor-mediated calcium signals in astroglia:  Multiple receptors, common stores and all-or-nothing responses.  Cell Calcium 1995; 17:187-196


Education and Training

1983.M.D., Capital University of Medical Science, Beijing, China.

1985-1990. Ph.D., Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA

1990-1995. Postdoc. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

1995-1997. Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Emory University School of Medicine.

1997-2001. Resident/Fellow, AP/NP, Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, NY


Committees , Council, and Professional Society Memberships

American Association of Neuropathologists, 2002-present

American Medical Association, 1998-present

College of American Pathologists, 1997-present

Society for Neuroscience, 1985-1997, 2002-present