Dr. Wang's Laboratory

Hanjun Wang, MD

Associate Professor

Durham Research Center I, 5064
984455 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-4455

Phone: 402-559-8523
Email:  hanjunwang@unmc.edu 




Taija Hahka

Graduate Student


Juan Hong, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow


Nikolay Karpuk, PhD

Senior Research Scientist 


Zhiqiu (Claire) Xia
Graduate Student Research Assistant



In Vivo Electrophysiological Recordings - We are very good at recording both sympathetic and parasympathetic afferents and efferents activity in rodents and large animals in real time (PMCID: 3036195, 3378347 and 4162756). 

Brain and Spinal cord Research - Our lab is also good at the experiments of central microinjection/single neuron recording in any brain nucleus site in rodents (PMCID: 27151332, 3727025 and 4346766).

Pain behavior Assessment - Our lab is routinely performing many kinds of pain behavior assays including Von Frey, Hot plate, Incapacitance Test etc.

Pressure-Volume (PV) Loop Analysis - Our lab is one of very few labs in campus who is capable to perform PV loop analysis, a gold standard technique to assess cardiac function, in rodents. (PMCID: 24980663 and 5390865 )

Patch Clamp - Our lab uses patch clamp to explore the cellular mechanisms underlying cardiopulmonary and skeletal muscle afferent dysfunction in diseases (PMID: 30909643).

Tissue Clarity - The process of clearing tissue for the purpose of histological analysis has recently become a common tool in biological investigations. The purpose is to keep the proteins in a structure while removing the lightscattering lipids, and thus to allow deep penetration of light for fluorescent 3D microscopy. Our lab focuses on the advancement in the procedure called CLARITY (Clear Lipid-exchanged Acrylamidehybridized Rigid Imaging/Immunostaining/In situ-hybridization-compatible Tissue-hYdrogel) in peripheral nervous system. It is a convenient histological fixation and clearing technique that enables immunohistochemistry (ICH) and maintenance of fluorophores during imaging of large volumes for 3D-reconstruction.




April 2020 – March 2024
Novel Neural Mechanisms Underlying Lung-Heart Pathological Crosstalk
Primary Investigator
DHHS/NIH/NHLBI (1R01HL152160-0)

March 2020 – April 2025
Targeting Insulin Resistance to Improve Abnormal Cardiovascular Control in Diabetes
Sub-Contract Primary Investigator
DHHS/NIH/NHLBI (168559177)

January 2020 – January 2021
Pre-Clinical Application for the Use of Clonidine Pellets to Treat Claudication
Primary Investigator
Sollis Therapeutic Corporation (INDY-15062983)

December 2019 – November 2023
Cardiac Afferents and Renal Function in Heart Failure
Co-Primary Investigator
DHHS/NIH/NHLBI (2R01HL126796-02A0)

April 2016 – March 2021
BDNF and the Exercise Pressor Reflex in CHF
Primary Investigator
DHHS/NIH/NHLBI (1R01HL121012-01A1)



December 2015 – November 2019
Cardiac Sympathetic Afferent Denervation and Remodeling in CHF
Co-Primary Investigator
DHHS/NIH/NGLBI (1R01HL126796-01A1)

November 2017 – October 2018
Role of HIV in Viral Proteins and Cocaine-Mediated Microglial Activation in Neuropathic Pain
Contact Primary Investigator
Nebraska Center for Substance Abuse

October 2017 – June 2018
MSC-Derived Myelinating Schwann Cell for PN Regeneration

August 2016 – July 2018
RTX for the Treatment of Hypertension
Co-Primary Investigator
Sorrento Therapeutics Inc.

October 2016 – September 2019
Mapping of Cardiac Spinal Afferents to Dorsal Root Ganglia
NIH/SPARC Initiative (1OT2OD001984–01)

August 2013 – July 2017
Molecular and Cellular Determinants of the Exercise Pressor Reflex in CHF
DHHS/NIH/NHLBI (1R01HL116608-01)

August 2016.- July 2017
The Effects of Renal Denervation on Sympathetic Vasomotion in Anesthetized Swine
Nebraska Research Initiative

July 2012 – June 2016
The Exaggerated Exercise Pressor Reflex in Chronic Heart Failure: A Role of Spinal Cord
Primary Investigator
American Heart Association – National Center (2SDG12040062)

August 2015 – July 2016
Evaluation of Thoracic Intrathecal RTX for Treatment of Chronic Heart Failure
Co-Primary Investigator
Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.

January 2010 – December 2011
The Exaggerated Exercise Pressor Reflex in Chronic Heart Failure: The Role of Skeletal Muscle Oxidative Stress
Primary Investigator
American Heart Association – Midwest Affiliate (1POST2640201)





(Past two years)

  1. Wang HJ*, Rozanski GJ, Zucker IH. Cardiac sympathetic afferent reflex control of cardiac function in normal and chronic heart failure states. J Physiol 2017; 595(8):2519-2534.
  2. Becker BK, Wang H, Zucker IH. Central TrkB blockade attenuates ICV angiotensin II-hypertension and sympathetic nerve activity in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical 2017; 205:77-86.
  3. Wang HJ*. Mineralocorticoids: The secret of muscle reflex dysfunction in hypertension? Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2017; 313(5):H931-H933.
  4. Shanks J, Xia Z, Lisco SJ, Rozanski GJ, Schultz HD, Zucker IH, Wang HJ*. Sympatho-excitatory response to pulmonary chemosensitive spinal afferent activation in anesthetized, vagotomized rats. Physiol Rep 2018; Jun;6(12):e13742.
  5. Wafi AM, Hong J, Rudebush TL, Yu L, Hackfort BT, Wang H, Schultz HD, Zucker IH, Gao L. Curcumin Improves Exercise Performance of Mice with Coronary Artery Ligation Induced HFrEF: Nrf2 and Antioxidant Mechanisms in Skeletal Muscle. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2019 Feb 1;126(2):477-486.
  6. Adam R, Xia Z, Pravoverov K, Hong J, Case AJ, Schultz HD, Lisco SJ, Zucker IH, Wang HJ*. Sympatho-excitation in response to cardiac and pulmonary afferent stimulation of TRPA1 channels is attenuated in chronic heart failure rats. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2019 Apr 1;316(4):H862-H872.
  7. The Development of a Macromolecular Analgesic for Arthritic Pain. Weber L, Wang X, Ren R, Wei X, Zhao G, Yang J, Yuan H, Pang H, Wang H, Wang D. Mol Pharm. 2019 Mar 4;16(3):1234-1244.
  8. Schiller AM, Hong J, Xia Z, Wang HJ*. Increased Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor in Lumbar Dorsal Root Ganglia Contributes to the Enhanced Exercise Pressor Reflex in Heart Failure. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1480; doi:10.3390/ijms20061480.
  9. Ma A, Hong J, Shanks J, Rudebush T, Yu L, Hackfort BT, Wang H, Zucker IH, Gao L. Upregulating Nrf2 in the RVLM ameliorates sympatho-excitation in mice with chronic heart failure. Free Radic Biol Med. 2019. pii: S0891-5849(19)30707-5.
  10. Shanks J, Morais SD, Gao L, Zucker IH, Wang HJ*. TRPV1 (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1) Cardiac Spinal Afferents Contribute to Hypertension in SHR. Hypertension. 2019 Oct;74(4):910-920.
  11. Wu S, Ni S, Jiang X, Kuss M, Wang HJ, Duan B. Guiding Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Myelinating Schwann Cell-like Phenotypes by Using Electrospun Core-Sheath Nanoyarns. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2019, 5 (10), 5284-5294. DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b00748.
  12. Wu S, Kuss M, Qi D, Hong J, Wang HJ, Zhang W, Chen S, Ni S, Duan B. Development of Cryogel-based Guidance Conduit for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration. ACS Applied Bio Materials 2019, 2 (11) , 4864-4871. DOI: 10.1021/acsabm.9b00626.