Qiumin Tan

Qiumin Tan

Qiumin Tan

Ph.D., Washington State University

Assistant Professor
Office: 780-492-1523


  • Canada Research Chair Tier II in Molecular Genetics of Human Disease

Research Interests

Most neurons (nerve cells) in our brains arise during embryonic development and around birth. However, the mammalian brain retains the capacity to generate new neurons even throughout adulthood.

The dentate gyrus of the hippocampus is a brain region where new neurons are continuously produced. The adult-born neurons from this region are thought to be important for learning, memory formation and mood regulation.

 Dentate gyrus


During adult hippocampal neurogenesis, quiescent neural progenitor cells called radial glial-like cells, reside in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus, and develop into mature granule neurons. This occurs through several distinct cell stages.

Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is a lifelong extension of early brain development in the adult brain and occasionally continues into the aging brain. Therefore, while adult hippocampal neurogenesis recapitulates many of the events that occur during early brain development, it also faces many unique challenges.



We are particularly interested in neuronal maturation during adult hippocampal neurogenesis, specifically, the stages of neuroblast and immature neuron maturation.

These are some of the questions that we are studying:

In the dentate gyrus, adult-born neurons must migrate from their birthplace in the subgranular zone to their final home in the granular cell layer. Although the distance is short—only a few cell layers, the migration process must be tightly regulated for newly generated neurons to successfully integrate into the existing brain circuit. What regulates the initiation and termination of neuronal migration?

Dentate gyrus granule neurons have an elaborate dendritic tree, which provides the anatomical basis for receiving nerve signal input. This complex dendritic architecture gradually forms as neuroblasts develop into immature neurons and further into mature neurons. How is the dendritic architecture of new-born granule neurons built?

Most newly generated adult-born neurons are eliminated within days after they exit the cell cycle. Only a few surviving cells will become mature neurons. What determines a cell’s vulnerability to cell death?



 Laboratory Website

Selected Publications

(1) C.S. Kao, R. van Bruggen, J.R. Kim, X.X.L. Chen, C. Chan, J. Lee, W.I. Cho, M. Zhao, C. Arndt, K. Maksimovic, M. Khan, Q. Tan, M.D. Wilson, J. Park, Selective neuronal degeneration in MATR3 S85C knock-in mouse model of early-stage ALS, Nat Commun, 11 (2020) 5304.

(2) A. Didonna, E. Canto Puig, Q. Ma, A. Matsunaga, B. Ho, S.J. Caillier, H. Shams, N. Lee, S.L. Hauser, Q. Tan, S.S. Zamvil, J.R. Oksenberg, Ataxin-1 regulates B cell function and the severity of autoimmune experimental encephalomyelitis, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 117 (2020) 23742-23750.

(3) Q. Tan, H.Y. Zoghbi, Mouse models as a tool for discovering new neurological diseases, Neurobiol Learn Mem, 165 (2019) 106902. (co-corresponding authors)

(4) V.V. Bondar, C.J. Adamski, T.S. Onur, Q. Tan, L. Wang, J. Diaz-Garcia, J. Park, H.T. Orr, J. Botas, H.Y. Zoghbi, PAK1 regulates ATXN1 levels providing an opportunity to modify its toxicity in Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, Hum Mol Genet, DOI 10.1093/hmg/ddy200(2018).

(5) M.W.C. Rousseaux, T. Tschumperlin, H.C. Lu, E.P. Lackey, V.V. Bondar, Y.W. Wan, Q. Tan, C.J. Adamski, J. Friedrich, K. Twaroski, W. Chen, J. Tolar, C. Henzler, A. Sharma, A. Bajic, T. Lin, L. Duvick, Z. Liu, R.V. Sillitoe, H.Y. Zoghbi, H.T. Orr, ATXN1-CIC Complex Is the Primary Driver of Cerebellar Pathology in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1 through a Gain-of-Function Mechanism, Neuron, 97 (2018) 1235-1243 e1235.

(6) Q. Tan, L. Brunetti, M.W.C. Rousseaux, H.C. Lu, Y.W. Wan, J.P. Revelli, Z. Liu, M.A. Goodell, H.Y. Zoghbi, Loss of Capicua alters early T cell development and predisposes mice to T cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 115 (2018) E1511-E1519. (co-corresponding authors)

(7) H.C. Lu*, Q. Tan*, M.W. Rousseaux, W. Wang, J.Y. Kim, R. Richman, Y.W. Wan, S.Y. Yeh, J.M. Patel, X. Liu, T. Lin, Y. Lee, J.D. Fryer, J. Han, M. Chahrour, R.H. Finnell, Y. Lei, M.E. Zurita-Jimenez, P. Ahimaz, K. Anyane-Yeboa, L. Van Maldergem, D. Lehalle, N. Jean-Marcais, A.L. Mosca-Boidron, J. Thevenon, M.A. Cousin, D.E. Bro, B.C. Lanpher, E.W. Klee, N. Alexander, M.N. Bainbridge, H.T. Orr, R.V. Sillitoe, M.C. Ljungberg, Z. Liu, C.P. Schaaf, H.Y. Zoghbi, Disruption of the ATXN1-CIC complex causes a spectrum of neurobehavioral phenotypes in mice and humans, Nat Genet, 49 (2017) 527-536. (*co-first authors)

(8) Q. Tan, H.K. Yalamanchili, J. Park, A. De Maio, H.C. Lu, Y.W. Wan, J.J. White, V.V. Bondar, L.S. Sayegh, X. Liu, Y. Gao, R.V. Sillitoe, H.T. Orr, Z. Liu, H.Y. Zoghbi, Extensive cryptic splicing upon loss of RBM17 and TDP43 in neurodegeneration models, Hum Mol Genet, 25 (2016) 5083-5093. (Journal issue cover image.)

(9) J. Park, I. Al-Ramahi, Q. Tan, N. Mollema, J.R. Diaz-Garcia, T. Gallego-Flores, H.C. Lu, S. Lagalwar, L. Duvick, H. Kang, Y. Lee, P. Jafar-Nejad, L.S. Sayegh, R. Richman, X. Liu, Y. Gao, C.A. Shaw, J.S.C. Arthur, H.T. Orr, T.F. Westbrook, J. Botas, H.Y. Zoghbi, RAS-MAPK-MSK1 pathway modulates ataxin 1 protein levels and toxicity in SCA1, Nature, 498 (2013) 325-331.