Nien-Pei Tsai

Profile picture for Nien-Pei Tsai

Contact Information

423A Burrill Hall
Assistant Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Research Interests

Neurodevelopment, Signal Transduction, Synaptic Transmission, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy 

Research Description

An imbalance in neuronal and synaptic excitability is a common abnormality observed in patients with various psychiatric and neurological disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar, mood disorders, epilepsy and autism spectrum disorders. Identifying and understanding the mechanisms underlying the regulation of excitability will potentially reveal novel therapeutic targets for these diseases. My laboratory utilizes various approaches including molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, electrophysiology, and mouse genetics to understand the regulation of excitability homeostasis at synaptic, neuronal, network and system levels.


B.S. 2002 National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
M.Sc. 2004 National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
Ph.D. 2009 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Postdoc 2010-2014 University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX


National Institute Health

Brain and Behavioral Research Foundation

Simons Foundation

Awards and Honors

2018 NARSAD Young Investigator Award
2015 NARSAD Young Investigator Award
2014 Simons Foundation Autism Initiative-Explorer Award
2011 National Research Service Award (NRSA) from NICHD/NIH
2011 Meritorious Award at Postdoctoral Symposium at UTSW
2010 Dr. Marvin and Hadassah Bacaner Research Award in Pharmacology, University of Minnesota
2008 Veneziale-Steer Research Award, University of Minnesota
2008 Milne Brandenberg Award for outstanding graduate research, University of Minnesota

Courses Taught

MCB 402 - Sys & Integrative Physiology
MCB 529 - Topics in Health & Disease

Additional Campus Affiliations

Neuroscience Program

Beckman Institute