Ning Tian, MD, PhD


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Neurobiology & Anatomy - Adjunct Professor, Ophthalmology/Visual Sciences - Professor

Academic Office Information

  • John A. Moran Eye Center
    65 N Mario Capecchi
    Salt Lake City, UT 84132


Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship University of California San Francisco
Ophthalmology and Physiology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training State University of New York at Buffalo
Biophysics and Ophthalmology
Residency Hubei Medical University
Graduate Training Zhong-sen Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences
Visual Physiology
Residency Hubei Commercial Hospital
Professional Medical Yichang School of Medicine

Global Impact

Education History

Type School Degree Country
Residency Hubei Medical University
Resident China
Graduate Training Zhong-sen Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences
Visual Physiology
M.S. China
Residency Hubei Commercial Hospital
Resident China
Professional Medical Yichang School of Medicine
M.D. China

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Xu HP, Chen H, Ding Q, Xie ZH, Chen L, Diao L, Wang P, Gan L, Crair MC, Tian N (2010 Feb 25). The immune protein CD3zeta is required for normal development of neural circuits in the retina. Neuron, 65(4), 503-15.
  2. Tian N (2008 Sep 15). Synaptic activity, visual experience and the maturation of retinal synaptic circuitry. J Physiol, 586(Pt 18), 4347-55.
  3. Xu HP, Tian N (2008 Jul 1). Glycine receptor-mediated synaptic transmission regulates the maturation of ganglion cell synaptic connectivity. J Comp Neurol, 509(1), 53-71.
  4. Ding Q, Chen H, Xie X, Libby R, Tian N, Gan L (2008). BARHL2 differentially regulates the developement of retinal amacrine and gangolion neurons. J Neurosci.
  5. Xu HP, Tian N (2007 Jul 10). Retinal ganglion cell dendrites undergo a visual activity-dependent redistribution after eye opening. J Comp Neurol, 503(2), 244-59.
  6. Renteria RC, Tian N, Cang J, Nakanishi S, Stryker MP, Copenhagen DR (2006 Nov 15). Intrinsic ON responses of the retinal OFF pathway are suppressed by the ON pathway. J Neurosci, 26(46), 11857-69.
  7. Vistamehr S, Tian N (2004 Jan-Feb). Light deprivation suppresses the light response of inner retina in both young and adult mouse. Vis Neurosci, 21(1), 23-37.
  8. Tian N, Copenhagen DR (2003 Jul 3). Visual stimulation is required for refinement of ON and OFF pathways in postnatal retina. Neuron, 39(1), 85-96.
  9. Tian N, Slaughter MM (2003 May-Jun). Structure of glutamate analogs that activate the ON bipolar cell metabotropic glutamate receptor in vertebrate retina. Vis Neurosci, 20(3), 231-40.
  10. Johnson J, Tian N, Caywood MS, Reimer RJ, Edwards RH, Copenhagen DR (2003 Jan 15). Vesicular neurotransmitter transporter expression in developing postnatal rodent retina: GABA and glycine precede glutamate. J Neurosci, 23(2), 518-29.
  11. Tian N, Copenhagen DR (2001 Nov 8). Visual deprivation alters development of synaptic function in inner retina after eye opening. Neuron, 32(3), 439-49.
  12. Kleiman RJ, Tian N, Krizaj D, Hwang TN, Copenhagen DR, Reichardt LF (2000 Jul). BDNF-Induced potentiation of spontaneous twitching in innervated myocytes requires calcium release from intracellular stores. J Neurophysiol, 84(1), 472-83.
  13. Tian N, Petersen C, Kash S, Baekkeskov S, Copenhagen D, Nicoll R (1999 Oct 26). The role of the synthetic enzyme GAD65 in the control of neuronal gamma-aminobutyric acid release. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 96(22), 12911-6.
  14. Zhang J, Tian N, Slaughter MM (1998 Dec). Neuronal discriminator formed by metabotropic gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors. J Neurophysiol, 80(6), 3365-8.
  15. Tian N, Hwang TN, Copenhagen DR (1998 Sep). Analysis of excitatory and inhibitory spontaneous synaptic activity in mouse retinal ganglion cells. J Neurophysiol, 80(3), 1327-40.
  16. Tian N, Slaughter MM (1995 Jul-Aug). Functional properties of a metabotropic glutamate receptor at dendritic synapses of ON bipolar cells in the amphibian retina. Vis Neurosci, 12(4), 755-65.
  17. Tian N, Slaughter MM (1995 May). Correlation of dynamic responses in the ON bipolar neuron and the b-wave of the electroretinogram. Vision Res, 35(10), 1359-64.
  18. Tian N, Slaughter MM (1994 Oct 17). Pharmacology of the GABAB receptor in amphibian retina. Brain Res, 660(2), 267-74.
  19. Tian N, Slaughter MM (1994 Jun). Pharmacological similarity between the retinal APB receptor and the family of metabotropic glutamate receptors. J Neurophysiol, 71(6), 2258-68.
  20. Yang S, Wu DZ, Tian N, Wu L (1991 Mar). Contrast sensitivity in amblyopia. Yan Ke Xue Bao, 7(1), 25-8.
  21. Tian N, Wu DZ, Wu LZ (1990). Contrast Sensitivity in Three Blinding Eye Diseases. Ophthalmic Res, 8, 73-75.


  1. Gastinger MJ, Tian N, Tamas T and Marshak DW (2006). Retinopetal axons in mammals. [Review]. Curr Eye Res, 31, 655-667.
  2. Tian N (2004 Dec). Visual experience and maturation of retinal synaptic pathways. [Review]. Vision Res, 44(28), 3307-16.
  3. Xu H, Tian N (2004 Aug). Pathway-specific maturation, visual deprivation, and development of retinal pathway. [Review]. Neuroscientist, 10(4), 337-46.

Book Chapter

  1. Tian N, Copenhagen DR (2008). Plasticity of retinal wiring. In Albright, Masland (Eds.), Handbook of the Senses (pp. 473-490). Elsevier, Oxford.
  2. Tian N (2008). Developmental segregation of ON and OFF pathways. In Chalupa (Ed.), Eye, Retina, and Visual System of the Mouse (pp. 252-261). The MIT Press.
  3. Slaughter MM, Jian Z, Tian N (1995). Ramifications of GABA receptor Subtypes on Retinal Information Processing. In Robbins (Ed.), Basic and Clinical Perspectives in Vision Research (pp. 115-123). New York: Plenum Press.
  4. Slaughter MM, Tian N (1993). You Cannot Inhibit a Good Receptor: GABA Receptor Diversity in the Vertebrate Retina. In Shapley, Lam (Eds.), Contrast Sensitivity (pp. 59-73). The MIT Press.


  1. Tian N, Xu HP, Chen H, Diao L (2008). T lymphocyte receptor-mediated immune signals regulate the development of retinal synaptic activity and connectivity in the retina. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  2. Xu H, Mineur YS, Chen H, Picciotto MP, Tian N, Crair MC (2008). Conditional expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor b2 subunit in retina rescues retinocollicular map refinement. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  3. Cui J, Ivanova E, Chen H, Tian N, Pan ZH (2008). Expression of a1H (Cav3.2) T-type calcium channel in an OFF-type retinal bipolar cell and lack of optokinetic reflex with diminished retinal directional selectivity in a1H-deficient mice. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  4. Tian N, Xu HP, Chen H, Diao L, Nakanishi S, Copenhagen RD (2008). Synaptic activity, visual experience and the maturation of retinal synaptic circuitry. Pre-ARVO Educational Course [Abstract].
  5. Chen H, Xu HP, Tian N (2008). T Cell Receptors (TCRs) mediated immune signals regulate the Patterns of Mouse Retinal spontaneous activity. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  6. Chan H, Xu HP, Tian N (2007). The Maturational Changes of Dendritic and Receptive Fields of Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  7. Diao L, Copenhagen RD, Nakanishi S, Tian N (2007). Genetic mutation of mGluR6 receptor prevents the effects induced by light deprivation on the development of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  8. Tian N (2006). Synaptic plasticity of retina. Summer Research Conferences in Retinal Neurobiology, Indian Wells, CA [Abstract]. FASEB.
  9. Chen H, Tian N (2006). Visual Deprivation Influences the Maturational Changes of Directional Selectivity of Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  10. Xu HP, Tian N (2005). Light deprivation retarded the maturation of retinal ganglion cell dendritic stratification. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  11. Xu HP, Tian N (2004). Functional requirement for CD3ΞΆ-containing receptor mediated class I MHC signaling in retinal ganglion cell dendritic stratification during development. Summer Research Conferences in Retinal Neurobiology, Saxtons River, VT [Abstract]. FASEB .
  12. Xu HP, Tian N (2004). Glycine receptor mediated activity is required for the maturation of OFF pathway in mouse retina. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  13. Tian N (2003). Light Deprivation Blocks the Developmental Changes of Ganglion Cell Dendritic Ramification in Mouse Retina. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  14. Renteria RC, Copenhagen DR, Nakanishi S, Tian N (2003). ON Responses in the Retina of the mGluR6 Knockout Mouse. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  15. He Q, Tian N (2003). Dopamine D1 and D2 Receptors Differentially Affect Functional Development of Mouse Retina. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  16. Tian N, Copenhagen RD (2002). Light regulates the functional maturation of ON and OFF pathways in postnatal mouse retina. FASEB Summer Research Conferences in Retinal Neurobiology, Saxtons River, VT [Abstract].
  17. Vistamehr S, Tian N (2002). Developmental changes of the ERG components in mice and the effect of light deprivation on oscillatory potentials. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  18. Tian N (2002). Development and intensity-dependent regulation of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) transient responses. ARVO annual meeting [Abstract].
  19. Tian N, Copenhagen DR (2001). Developmental regulation of ganglion cell light responses in mouse retina near the time of eye opening. Society for Neuroscience Abstract [Abstract].
  20. Tian N, Kash S, Baekkeskov, S, Copenhagen DR (1998). Characterization of Inhibitory Synaptic Inputs of Retinal Ganglion Cells From Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase (GAD65) Knockout Mice [Abstract]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 39, S686.
  21. Hu J, Song X, Li X, Tian N (1997 Nov). [Image analysis of the microvascular permeability to various molecular weight of flucrescein in rat mesentery] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 13(4), 352-5.
  22. Zhang L, Li X, Shong X, Tian N (1997 Feb). [The study of ICAM-1 expression after brain ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 13(1), 1-4.
  23. Tian N, Hwang T and Copenhagen DR (1997). Characterization and Developmental Regulation of Spontaneous Synaptic Activity in Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells [Abstract]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 38, S39.
  24. Tian N, Hwang T and Copenhagen DR (1996). Spontaneous Synaptic Activity in Amacrine and Ganglion Cells of Mouse Retina. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts [Abstract]. 22(3), 1993.
  25. Tian N, Slaughter MM (1995). The ON Bipolar Cell Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Promotes High Gain Under Dim Illumination [Abstract]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 36, S287.
  26. Tian N, Slaughter MM (1994). The Structure-Activity Relationship Analysis of Retinal ON Bipolar Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Agonists [Abstract]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 35, 1567.
  27. Tian N (1993 May). [A study of spectral electroretinograms of color vision defects due to macular diseases] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 29(3), 166-8.
  28. Slaughter MM, Tian N (1993). The Retinal APB Receptor is a Member of the Family of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors [Abstract]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci , 34, 1381.
  29. Tian N, Slaughter MM (1992). A Unique Type of GABA/b Receptor in the Amphibian Retina [Abstract]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 33, 1327.
  30. Tian NX (1991 Nov). [Study of cranial maxillo-facial structure of the deep overjet in the early permanent dentition] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 26(6), 360-3, 390.
  31. Tian N (1990 Jan). [Contrast sensitivity in open-angle glaucoma] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 26(1), 6-9.
  32. Tian N (1988 Sep). [Effect of scopolamine butylbromide on injury of microvessels in bone marrow] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 68(9), 494-6, 34.
  33. Xin DY, Wu LZ, Wu DZ, Tian NN (1988 Mar). [VEP in the follow up of patients with optic neuritis] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 4(1), 40-4.
  34. Wu LZ, Chen YZ, Chao XY, Huang ZS, Xu XJ, Xin DY, Tian N, Wu FG, Liu AQ, Tang SB, et al (1987 Sep). [Aging macular degeneration in Tibetan and Han] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 3(3), 179-81.
  35. Tian N, Wu DZ, Wu LZ (1987 Sep). [Contrast sensitivity versus visual acuity in aging macular degeneration] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 3(3), 193-7.
  36. Tian N, Wu DZ, Wu LZ (1987 Jun). [Contrast sensitivity in early senile cataract] [Abstract]. Utah Special Educator, 3(2), 99-103.
  37. Wu LZ, Tian N, Wu DZ (1987). Contrast Sensitivity in Senile Macular Degeneration [Abstract]. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, (Suppl)28, 301.