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School of Medicine Columbia

Faculty and Staff

Wenbin Tan, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor
Department: Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy
School of Medicine Columbia
Phone: 803-216-3816


B.S.: Central South University, Xiangya School of Medicine,  P. R. China                 

M.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Central South University, Xiangya School of Medicine,  P. R. China    

Ph.D., Neurophysiology and Neurobiology: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)          


The research of my laboratory mainly focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of congenital vascular malformations (CVM) including cutaneous capillary malformations, a.k.a. Port Wine Stain (PWS), venous malformation, arteriovenous malformation, Sturge-Web syndrome (SWS) and Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS), etc. My laboratory has been addressing three important questions regarding the treatment and pathogenesis of CVM. (1) To develop new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of CVM. We attempt to fabricate a novel type of nanoparticles based on specific targeting of lesional endothelial cells (ECs). (2) To investigate the neuro-vascular interaction and determine if nerve defects contribute to the origination of PWS. In this project, we aim to characterize the crucial molecular profiles involving axonal guidance. We hypothesize that defects of one or more of those axonal guidance molecules undermine the proper neurovascular interactions in PWS. (3) To determine the role of EC released exosomes in the development of vascular phenotypes in CVM.

Ongoing Research Support

NIH/NIAMS/1R01AR073172  Tan (PI) “Vascular Pathogenesis of Port Wine Stain” 04/16/2018-03/31/2023

DOD/W81XWH1810096   Tan (PI)   “Development of Endothelial Optical Exosomes for the Treatment of Port Wine Stains”   04/01/2018-09/30/2019


1.     Tan W., Janczewski WA, Yang P, Shao XM, Callaway EM, and Feldman JL. Rapid silencing of preBötzinger Complex somatostatin-expressing neurons induces persistent apnea in adult awake rats. Nature Neuroscience, 2008, 11(5): 538-54. PMID:18291943

2.     Tan W, Chernova M, Gao L, Sun V, Liu H, Jia W, et al. Sustained activation of c-Jun N-terminal and extracellular signal-regulated kinases in port-wine stain blood vessels. Journal of the American Academy Dermatology, 2014; 71:964-968. PMID:25135651

3.     Tan W, Nadora, DM, Gao L, Wang G, Mihm M and Nelson JS. The somatic GNAQ mutation (R183Q) is primarily located within the blood vessels of port wine stains. Journal of the American Academy Dermatology, 2016; 74:380-383, PMID: 26775782

4.     Tan W, Wang J, Zhou F, Gao L, Rong Y, Liu H, Sukanthanag A, Wang G, Mihim MC Jr, Chen D and Nelson JS. Coexistence of EphB1 and EphrinB2 in Port Wine Stain Endothelial Progenitor Cells Contributes to Clinicopathological Vasculature Dilatation. British Journal of Dermatology, 2017, DOI:10.1111/bjd.15716. PMID:28599054.

5.     Yin R, Rice SJ, Wang J, Gao L, Tsai J, Anvari RT, Zhou F, Liu X, Wang G, Tang Y, Mihm MC, Belani CP, Chen D, Nelson JS and Tan W. Membrane Trafficking and Exocytosis are Upregulated in Port Wine Stain Blood Vessels. Histology and Histopathology,  September 2018, accept.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.