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Cha-Min Tang, MD, PhD

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655 W. Baltimore Street, BRB, 12-029

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Education and Training

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), BS, MS, Electrical Engineering
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, MD, PhD, Physiology
  • Presbyterian Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Internship
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Residency, Neurology


Dr. Tang works at the interface of clinical medicine, fundamental neuroscience research, and technology development. Where these fields interface is a fertile area of making significant progress. It also utilizes his diverse background. Examples are provided below.

"Feedforward Memory"

We postulate it is a form of short term memory that does not require synaptic plasticity. It functions as an essential component of all non-trivial computation, a memory buffer. We believe it one of the critical deficits in dementia and schizophrenia. Rather than being encoding through synaptic plasticity, we postulate that events are encoded in a process similar to how ripples on the surface of a pool of water encodes the time and location of pebbles being dropped into the pool. It is more efficient and more flexible. (Santos et al., 2012; Yang et al., 2014). It required the introduction of novel optical technology (Yang et al., 2011; Yang et al., Frontiers 2014).

Anisotropic Scattering Imaging

We developed a novel method for creating contrast in brain tissue (see attached figure and videos; Shin et al., 2014).  This method may be used to more efficiently "map the connection of the brain". It is especially useful for visualizing unmyelinated fiber tracts.

Coherence Gated Doppler

This technology was developed to detect at risk vessels in front of advancing electrodes during stereotactic neurosurgical procedures. But a more widely used application is likely for determining whether a tooth is dead or alive.

Optical Methods for Neural Stimulation

3D-Holographic photolysis, Infrared stimulation

Highlighted Publications

Santos MD, MH Mohammadi, S Yang, CW Liang, JPY Kao, BE Alger, SM Thompson, C-M Tang, Dendritic Hold and Read: A gated mechanism for short term information storage and retrieval. PLoS One 7(5): e37542. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037542 2012.

Shin RK, Queshi RA, Harris NR, Bakar D, Li TP, Jafri MS, Tang C-M. Wilbrand Knee. Neurology 82 (5), 2014.

Yang S, E Papagiakoumou, M Guillon, S deSars, C-M Tang, V Emiliani. Three dimensional holographic photostimulation of the dendritic arbor. J. of Neural Engineering 8(4):046002. Epub 2011.

Yang S, Emiliani V, Tang C-M. The kinetics of multibranch integration of the dendritic arbor of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 8 (127): doi: 10.3389/fncel.2014.00127, 2014.

Yang S, Yang S, Moreira T, Hoffman G, Carlson G, Bender K, Alger BE, Tang C-M. Interlamellar CA1 network in the hippocampus, Proc. Nat. Acad. Science USA doi: 10.1073/pnas.1405468111, 2014.