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Li-Rong Shao, M.D., M.Sc.

Photo of Dr. Li-Rong Shao, M.D., M.Sc.

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Research Interests: Acquired epilepsy; Neural circuit; Synaptic transmission; Neuron-glial interaction; GABA neurons; Anti-epileptic treatment; Epilepsy prevention; Metabolism-neuronal excitability coupling; Cerebral edema; Hippocampus more


Dr. Shao received his medical and master's degrees from Soochow University Medical School (China), and postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Colorado State University and the University of Utah. Dr. Shao was a Research Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at Bethesda, MD before he joined Johns Hopkins in 2014.

Dr. Shao pursues a research career focusing on understanding cellular mechanisms of acquired epilepsy as well as novel treatments for epilepsy. Using animal models of acquired epilepsy and electrophysiological and pharmacological techniques, he studies the roles of excitatory neuronal circuits, inhibitory synaptic transmission, as well as neuronal network in the process of epileptogenesis. He is committed to continue exploring novel mechanisms of acquired epilepsy and new approaches for epilepsy treatment and prevention. more


  • Assistant Professor of Neurology

Departments / Divisions



  • M.D., Soochow Medical College - Soochow (China) (1985)
  • M.Sc., Soochow Medical College - Soochow (China) (1995)

Research & Publications


Our laboratory is interested in understanding the cellular mechanisms (neuronal, glial, synaptic, and network) of epileptogenesis (i.e., how the normal brain becomes epileptic after injury), exploring novel approaches for epilepsy treatment and prevention, as well as developing new animal models of pediatric epilepsies.

The lab uses rodent epilepsy models and various techniques including brain slice electrophysiology, imaging, EEG and immunohistochemistry to address these issues. Current projects include 1) determining the role of cerebral edema in the development and prevention of post-injury epilepsy, 2) investigating the efficacy and mechanisms of antiepileptic actions via glycolytic inhibition with 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG), and 3) developing new animal models of a pediatric epilepsy disorder - infantile spasms.

Technology Expertise Keywords

Electrophysiology; Animal models of epilepsy; Brain slices; Patch clamp; EEG

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Shao L-R and Dudek FE (2004). Increased excitatory synaptic activity and local connectivity of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells in rats with kainate-induced epilepsy. Journal of Neurophysiology 92:1366-1373

Shao L-R and Dudek FE (2005). Electrophysiological evidence using focal flash photolysis of caged glutamate that CA1 pyramidal cells receive excitatory synaptic input from the subiculum. Journal of Neurophysiology 93:3007-3011

Shao L-R and Dudek FE (2005). Changes in mIPSCs and sIPSCs after kainate treatment: evidence for loss of inhibitory input to dentate granule cells and possible compensatory responses. Journal of Neurophysiology 94:952-960

Shao L-R and Dudek FE (2009). Both synaptic and intrinsic mechanisms underlie the different properties of population bursts in the hippocampal CA3 area of immature versus adult rats. Journal of Physiology 587:5907-5923

Shao L-R and Dudek FE (2011). Repetitive perforant-path stimulation induces epileptiform bursts in minislices of dentate gyrus from rats with kainate-induced epilepsy. Journal of Neurophysiology 105:522-527

Activities & Honors

Professional Activities

  • Ad-hoc Reviewer, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2014
  • Ad-hoc Reviewer, Neuroscience, 2007
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