University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Wang's Laboratory

Hanjun Wang, MD, aims to develop novel neuro-modulation therapies to treat cardiopulmonary diseases and chronic pain.

The laboratory has a long track record in exploring the role of skeletal muscle afferents in mediating cardiopulmonary dysfunction and exercise intolerance during physical activity in chronic heart failure.

In collaboration with Iraklis Pipinos, MD, in the UNMC Department of Surgery, Dr. Wang is exploring a new role of skeletal muscle afferents in mediating “claudication” in peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Most importantly, our jointed teams are developing a novel therapeutic concept to treat “claudication” by selective ablation of skeletal muscle afferents with an ultrapotent neurotoxin, resiniferatoxin. 


Lab Techniques 

  • 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 and maintenance of fluorophores during imaging of large volumes for 3D-reconstruction.

Primary Investigator

Hanjun Wang, MD

Associate Professor
Research Faculty


Hanjun Wang, MD, headshot

Lab Personnel

Nikolay Karpuk, PhD


Michael Lush

Research Technologist I

Zhiqiu (Claire) Xia, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Oliver Kitzerow

Graduate Research Assistant

Kajal Kamra

Graduate Research Assistant

Research Interests

  • Role of cardiac spinal afferents in Chronic Heart Failure and Hypertension
  • Role of Pulmonary spinal afferents in Acute/Chronic Lung diseases
  • Novel Neural Mechanisms to mediate heart-lung cross-talk in cardiopulmonary diseases
  • Novel Neural Mechanisms to mediate cardio-renal syndrome in chronic heart failure
  • Neural control of cardiovascular activity during exercise in healthy and diseases
  • Novel Neural Mechanisms to mediate claudication in Peripheral Arterial Diseases



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)