USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute

JungA (Alexa) Woo

JungA (Alexa) Woo, PhD

Assistant Professor, Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology

Contact Info 4001E Fletcher Ave
Byrd Alzheimer's Institute
Tampa FL 33613

Academic Email:


  • PhD, Medical Sciences, University of South Florida, 2015
  • MS, Biomedical science, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, 2011

Academic Philosophy

"Without effort, your talent is nothing more than unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn't"

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Allergy, Immunology & Infectious Disease
  • Biomedical Engineering & Nanomedicine
  • Environmental & Global Health
  • Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Neuroscience
  • Pulmonary Physiology

Research Interests

  • Tau pathology (tauopathy) is a prevailing hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and multiple other neurodegenerative diseases. My research focuses on understanding how GPCR/b-arrestins contribute to tauopathy and other neurodegenerative diseases in brain.
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Recent Publications

  • Woo JA*, Liu T, Fang CC, Castano M, Kee T, Yrigoin K, Yan Y, Cazzaro S, Matlack J, Wang X, Zhao X, Kang DE*, Liggett SB*. β-Arrestin2 oligomers impair the clearance of pathological tau and increase tau aggregates. PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America). 117, 2020.
  • Woo JA*, Liu T, Fang CC, Cazzaro S, Kee T, LePochat P, Yrigoin K, Penn C, Zhao X, Wang X, Liggett SB, Kang DE*. Activated cofilin exacerbates tau pathology by impairing tau-mediated microtubule dynamics. Communications biology. 2: 112, 2019.
  • Kim D, Cho S, Castaño MA, Panettieri RA, Woo JA, Liggett SB. Biased TAS2R Bronchodilators Inhibit Airway Smooth Muscle Growth by Downregulating pERK1/2. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology. , 2018.
  • Kim D, Cho S, Woo JA, Liggett SB. A CREB-mediated increase in miRNA let-7f during prolonged β-agonist exposure: a novel mechanism of β-adrenergic receptor down-regulation in airway smooth muscle. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. : fj201701278R, 2018.
  • Woo JA*, Liu T, Zhao X, Trotter C, Yrigoin K, Cazzaro S, Narvaez E, Khan H, Witas R, Bukhari A, Makati K, Wang X, Dickey C, Kang DE*. Enhanced tau pathology via RanBP9 and Hsp90/Hsc70 chaperone complexes. Human molecular genetics. 26(20) : 3973-3988, 2017.
  • Kim D, Woo JA, Geffken E, An SS, Liggett SB. Coupling of Airway Smooth Muscle Bitter Taste Receptors to Intracellular Signaling and Relaxation Is via G. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology. 56(6) : 762-771, 2017.
  • Woo JA, Liu T, Trotter C, Fang CC, De Narvaez E, LePochat P, Maslar D, Bukhari A, Zhao X, Deonarine A, Westerheide SD, Kang DE. Loss of function CHCHD10 mutations in cytoplasmic TDP-43 accumulation and synaptic integrity. Nature communications. 8: 15558, 2017.
  • Liu T, Wang F, LePochat P, Woo JA, Bukhari MZ, Hong KW, Trotter C, Kang DE. Cofilin-mediated Neuronal Apoptosis via p53 Translocation and PLD1 Regulation. Scientific reports. 7(1) : 11532, 2017.
  • Woo JA, Zhao X, Khan H, Penn C, Wang X, Joly-Amado A, Weeber E, Morgan D, Kang DE. Slingshot-Cofilin activation mediates mitochondrial and synaptic dysfunction via Aβ ligation to β1-integrin conformers. Cell death and differentiation. , 2015.
  • Woo JA, Boggess T, Uhlar C, Wang X, Khan H, Cappos G, Joly-Amado A, De Narvaez E, Majid S, Minamide LS, Bamburg JR, Morgan D, Weeber E, Kang DE. RanBP9 at the intersection between cofilin and Aβ pathologies: rescue of neurodegenerative changes by RanBP9 reduction. Cell death & disease. 6: 1676, 2015.
  • Roh SE, Woo JA, Lakshmana MK, Uhlar C, Ankala V, Boggess T, Liu T, Hong YH, Mook-Jung I, Kim SJ, Kang DE. Mitochondrial dysfunction and calcium deregulation by the RanBP9-cofilin pathway. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 27(12) : 4776-89, 2013.
  • Liu T, Roh SE, Woo JA, Ryu H, Kang DE. Cooperative role of RanBP9 and P73 in mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. Cell death & disease. 4: e476, 2013.
  • Woo JA, Roh SE, Lakshmana MK, Kang DE. Pivotal role of RanBP9 in integrin-dependent focal adhesion signaling and assembly. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 26(4) : 1672-81, 2012.
  • Woo JA, Jung AR, Lakshmana MK, Bedrossian A, Lim Y, Bu JH, Park SA, Koo EH, Mook-Jung I, Kang DE. Pivotal role of the RanBP9-cofilin pathway in Aβ-induced apoptosis and neurodegeneration. Cell death and differentiation. 19(9) : 1413-23, 2012.
  • Kang DE, Roh SE, Woo JA, Liu T, Bu JH, Jung AR, Lim Y. The Interface between Cytoskeletal Aberrations and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders. Experimental neurobiology. 20(2) : 67-80, 2011.

Positions Held

  • Research Associate (Personalized Medicine, Byrd Alzhiemers Institute 2016 - 2017)


  • Outstanding Thesis&Dissertation Awards (University of South Florida - 2015)
  • Best Poster Presentation Award (7th USF graduate Research Symposium - 2015)
  • Best Poster Presentation Award (USF College of Medicine Molecular Medicine - 2014)
  • Top awards Dr. Christopher P. Phelps Memorial Fund Annual Morsani COM Graduate Student Award (USF Research day - 2014)