School of Pharmacy

Joanne Wang

Professor, Department of Pharmaceutics; Affiliate Investigator, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Department of Pharmaceutics, OPRU, Pharmaceutics Faculty, Plein Center in Geriatrics Faculty, UWPKDAP

Telephone: (206) 616-6561


Office Location: Health Science Building Room H-272J Box 357610

Website: PubMed


  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California-San Francisco
  • Master of Science in Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Peking University

Research Interests

  • Monoamine and organic cation transporters
  • Drug delivery, transport, and metabolism in the CNS
  • PMAT as a novel target for CNS disorders
  • Anticancer drugs and targeting
  • Renal drug transport and interactions
  • Nucleoside transporters


Dr. Wang obtained her PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Kathleen Giacomini.  After completing a joint postdoctoral fellowship with Drs. Ira Herskowitz and Kathleen Giacomini at UCSF, she joined the Department of Pharmaceutics as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2000.  Dr. Wang is currently a full Professor in Pharmaceutics, an affiliate member of FHCRC, and an affiliate investigator at the Nutrition Obesity Research Center.

Dr. Wang’s primary research interests are in the area of solute carrier (SLC) proteins that transport nutrients, neurotransmitters, hormones, drugs, and toxins across cell membranes. The central theme of Dr. Wang’s research has been focused on understanding the biology and pharmacology of SLC transporters and their clinical significance in drug disposition and action.  Wang is particularly noted for her research on the plasma membrane monoamine transporter (PMAT or ENT4, SLC29A4), a novel neurotransmitter and organic cation transporter first discovered, cloned and characterized in her laboratory. She also has longstanding research interests in cancer therapeutics, drug-induced organ toxicity, drug-drug interactions, and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Dr. Wang has served as a grant reviewer and study section member for National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies. She currently serves on the drug metabolism executive committee of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) and the editorial advisory board of Molecular Pharmacology. 

Selected Publications

Cloning and characterization of PMAT

  • Identification and characterization of a novel monoamine transporter (PMAT) K. Engel and J. Wang. Mol Pharmacol,J Biol Chem 279: 50042-9 (2004).
  • Molecular determinants of substrate selectivity of a novel organic cation transporter (PMAT) in the SLC29 family. M. Zhou, L. Xia, K. Engel, and J. Wang. J Biol Chem.282(5):3188-95 (2007).
  • Tyrosine 112 is essential for organic cation transport by the plasma membrane monoamine transporter. HT Ho, J Wang. 49(36):7839-46 (2010).
  • Molecular analysis and structure-activity relationship modeling of the substrate/inhibitor interaction site of plasma membrane monoamine transporter. T.B. Ho, Y. Pan, Z. Cui, H. Duan, P.W. Swaan, and J. Wang. J Pharmacol Exp Ther.339(2):376-85 (2011)
  • Electrophysiological characterization of the polyspecific organic cation transporter plasma membrane monoamine transporter. S. Itagaki, V. Ganapathy, T. B. Ho, M Zhou, and J. Wang.Drug Metab Dispos. 40(6):1138-43 (2012).
  • Potent and selective inhibition of plasma membrane monoamine transporter (PMAT) by HIV protease inhibitors. Duan, T. Hu, R.S. Foti, Y. Pan, P.W. Swaan, and J. Wang. Drug Metab Dispos. 43(11):1773-80 (2015)
  • The plasma membrane monoamine transporter (PMAT): Structure, function and role in organic cation disposition. Wang.  Clin Pharmacol Ther. 100(5):489-499 (2016)



  • Expression and immunolocalization of the plasma membrane monoamine transporter in the brain. Dahlin A, Xia L, Kong W, Hevner R, Wang J. 146(3):1193-211 (2007).
  • Evidence for significant contribution of a newly identified monoamine transporter (PMAT) to serotonin uptake in the human brain. M. Zhou, K. Engel and J. Wang. Biochem Pharmacol. 73(1):147-54 (2007).
  • Expression profiling of the Solute Carrier (SLC) gene family in the mouse brain. A. Dahlin, J. Royall, J. Hohmann and J. Wang.J Pharmacol Exp Ther 329(2):558-70 (2009).
  • Selective transport of monoamine neurotransmitters by human plasma membrane monoamine transporter and organic cation transporter 3. H. Duan and J. Wang. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 335(3):743-53. (2010).
  • Impaired monoamine and organic cation uptake in choroid plexus in mice with targeted disruption of the plasma membrane monoamine transporter (slc29a4) gene. H. Duan and J. Wang. J Biol Chem. 288(5):3535-44 (2013).


OCTs and other transporters

  • Effect of gestational age on mRNA and protein expression of polyspecific organic cation transporters during pregnancy. Lee N, Hebert MF, Prasad B, Easterling TR, Kelly EJ, Unadkat JD, and Wang J. Drug Metab Dispos. 41(12):2225-32 (2013)


  • Taste of a pill: organic cation transporter-3 (OCT3) mediates metformin accumulation and secretion in salivary glands. . Lee N, Duan H, Hebert MF, Liang CJ, Rice KM, Wang J.  J Biol Chem. 289(39):27055-64 (2014).


  • Atenolol renal secretion is mediated by human organic cation transporter 2 (hOCT2) and multidrug and toxin extrusion proteins (hMATEs). Yin J, Duan H, Shirasaka Y, Prasad B, Wang J. Drug Metab Dispos. 43(12):1872-81 (2015).


  • Impact of substrate-dependent inhibition on organic cation transporters hOCT2- and hMATE1/2-K-mediated drug transport and intracellular accumulation. Yin J, Duan H, and Wang J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 359(3):401-410 (2016).