Dale D. Tang, MD PhD

Molecular and Cellular Physiology

Areas of Study

Cytoskeletal regulation of smooth muscle functions, Pathogenesis of asthma and hypertension


  • Tonji Medical University, China1990PhD
  • Tonji Medical University, China1983MD


Dr. Tang is Director of Cytoskeletal Signaling and Asthma Research Program funded by the National Institutes of Health. Our research is involved in translational medicine and basic science:

Cytoskeletal regulation of cellular functions

The cytoskeleton is a network of fibers throughout the cytoplasm that helps the cell to maintain its shape, and provides support to the cells. The cytoskeleton undergoes remodeling in response to external stimulation, which has been implicated in regulating a variety of cellular functions including cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, trafficking, mitosis, and contraction. But, the mechanisms underlying these processes are not well understood. There are three cytoskeletal systems in the cell: the actin cytoskeleton, the intermediate filament network, and microtubules. Our group is largely working on the first two systems. But, if we have talented postdoctoral fellows or students to join, we may also assess the role and mechanism of microtubules in cells. Currently, we are determining the role and mechanism of cytoskeleton-associated proteins in smooth muscle. We are the first to demonstrate a critical role of c-Abl in regulating actin dynamics and smooth muscle contraction, which has been published in the high-impact journal Circulation Research. We are one of the first investigators who discover an essential role of the vimentin network in smooth muscle contraction and signaling. We continue to investigate new functions of the actin cytoskeleton and the intermediate filaments in cells.

Asthma Pathogenesis

Asthma is a serious pulmonary illness that affects nearly 300 million populations worldwide. It is well established that abnormal airway smooth muscle contraction and cell proliferation/migration contribute to the progression of airway hyperresponsiveness and airway remodeling, two critical characterizations of asthma. We are determining the functional role of a non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl, the adapter protein Abi1 and actin-associated protein GMF in smooth muscle contraction, cell proliferation, and migration using in vitro cell culture models. In addition, we are also using genetically modified animal models to assess the role of c-Abl in the development of smooth muscle diseases such as asthma. To accomplish our goals, we are using state-of-art technologies such as gene cloning, gene mutation, gene transfer, time-lapse microscopy, fluorescent confocal microscopy, biosensor, FRET analysis, protein biochemistry, cell biology, tissue biology, gene knockout mice, and animal models of diseases.

Currently we are funded by two NIH grants, which provide a unique opportunity for students to receive the first-class biomedical research training. Thus, we have openings for students in the laboratory. If interested, please send your application to Dale D. Tang at [email protected]

Dr. Tang is Editor-in-Chief of BMC Respiratory Respiratory, a high-impact international journal (IF 7.2, h-index 114). He also serves on Editorial Board of Nature Scientific Reports.



View Dale D. Tang's articles on the National Institute of Health's PubMed website.

Wang, R. Khan, S. Liao, G. Wu, Y. Tang, DD. Nestin Modulates Airway Smooth Muscle Cell Migration by Affecting Spatial Rearrangement of Vimentin Network and Focal Adhesion Assembly. Cells. 11:19, 2022. PMC9562664

Habib, N. Pasha, M. A. Tang, DD. Current Understanding of Asthma Pathogenesis and Biomarkers. Cells. 11:17, 2022. PMC9454904

Tang, DD. Demystifying Bitter Taste Receptor Relaxation of Airway Smooth Muscle. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 68 (4): 351-352, 2023

An, S and Tang, DD. Airway smooth muscle and asthma. Cells. 12 (6): ePub, March 30, 2023.

Wang Y, Liao G, Wang R, Wu Y and Tang DD. The intermediate filament protein nestin serves as a molecular hub for smooth muscle cytoskeletal signaling. Respiratory Research, 24 (1), 157, 2023

Nayak, A. P. Javed, E. Villalba, D. R. Wang, Y. Morelli, H. P. Shah, S. D. Kim, N. Ostrom, R. S. Panettieri, R. A., Jr. An, S. S. Tang, D. D. Penn, R. B. Pro-Relaxant EP Receptors Functionally Partition to Different Pro-Contractile Receptors in Airway Smooth Muscle. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 69 (5): 584-591, 2023

Guoning Liao, Ruping Wang, Yidi Wu, Neelam Kumari Maheshwari, Raymond B. Penn, and Dale D. Tang. Nestin drives allergen-induced airway smooth muscle hyperplasia and airway remodeling. Allergy, ePub, October 28, 2023

Wang R, Wang Y, Liao G, Chen B, Panettieri RA Jr, Penn RB, Tang DD. Abi1 mediates airway smooth muscle cell proliferation and airway remodeling via Jak2/STAT3 signaling. iScience 25 (2): 103833, 2022 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589004222001031)

Liao G, Wang R, Tang DD. Plk1 Regulates Caspase-9 Phosphorylation at Ser-196 and Apoptosis of Human Airway Smooth Muscle Cells. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2021 Oct 27;. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2021-0192OC. [Epub ahead of print] 66: 223-234, 2022. PMCID: PMC884512.

Brennan D. Gerlach, Kate Tubbesing, Guoning Liao, Alyssa C. Rezey, Ruping Wang, Margarida Barroso and Dale D. Tang. Phosphorylation of GMFgamma by c-Abl Coordinates Lamellipodial and Focal Adhesion Dynamics to Regulate Airway Smooth Muscle Cell Migration. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 61: 219-231, 2019