Department of Neurobiology and Biophysics



The Department of Neurobiology and Biophysics was established in 1998as the 21st department of USTC and one of the first academic departments in Chinese universities with a neuroscience focus.The department currently consists of 15laboratories and 17active full-timefaculty members, with most PIs recruited from abroad national talent programs. The department has closecollaborations in both research and teaching with CAS Institute of Biophysics, Institute of Neuroscience, and Kunming Institute of Zoology, as well as Havard University, MIT, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, University of Pittsburgh, CNRS,Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and other first class international institutions.

Research in the department spansmany areas of modernneuroscience, includingneural development, visual and auditory processing, synaptic plasticity and network dynamics; learning, memory and decision making; as well as mechanisms of related brain disorders including AD, depression and addiction. These studies combine molecular, cellular, electrophysiological, imaging, pharmacological, psychophysical and computational approaches using various model systems such as C elegans, zebrafish, mouse, rat, tree shrew and monkey. Faculty members in the department are also members ofthe CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Functionand Disease(KLBFD) and have access to cutting-edge imaging technologies atthe Center for Integrative Imaging (Cii) of the Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale (HFNL). In addition, a new Center for Advanced Genetic Engineering is being established to provide unique primate research resources. Based on these research platforms, a common long-term goal of faculty research programs in the department is to dissect at multiple levels the neural circuit basis of key brain functions and diseases.

Teaching is an import mission of the university. The department administrates9undergraduate courses including “Fundamental Neuroscience” and 11 graduate courses including “Principles of Neurobiology”, a new format course with lectures given primarily by leading scientists from CAS institutes and other universities.  Together with HFNL and KLBFD, the department also hosts seminar series, summer schools and workshops, as well as research symposiums where internationally renowned neuroscientists and biophysicists share their work.

Faculty and Research Interests

Primary Faculty (PIs):
Bi Guoqiang   Neural plasticity, circuit analysis, imaging techniques
Chen Lin    Central auditory information processing, tinnitus
Hu Bing      Cell kinetics of neurodevelopment, repair of nerve injury
Lau Pakming  Neural network dynamics, physiology of emotion and its disorder
Liu Qiang    Non-coding RNA, energy metabolism, learning and memory and Alzheimer's disease
Shen Yong    Molecular mechanism of AD and PD,drug discovery and new methods for diagnosis
Song Xiaoyuan lncRNAs,transcriptional regulation, chromosome interactions and senescence
Wen Quan    Sensorimotor integrationin small animals, opticalneurophysiology, and computational neuroscience
Xiong Wei   Ion channel modulation, synaptic function, drug design
Xue Tian   Phototransduction, Non-image vision, Stem Cell, Photoreceptor Regeneration
Yang Yupeng   Visual development and plasticity, amblyopia
Zhang Xiaochu Neural basis of decision making and addiction
Zhang Zhi     Neural circuits underlying pain and emotional disorders
Zhou Jiangning Molecular mechanism and diagnosis of AD and depression
Zhou Yifeng   Aging and visual information processing, amblyopia

Primary Faculty (co-PIs):
Chen Jutao   Synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, neurotoxicology
Wang Ming   Synaptic plasticity and toxicoloty

Distinguished Guest Faculty:
Zhou Zhenghong
 Biological cryo-EM, trans-synaptic mechanisms of neurotropic viruses


Undergraduate courses:
Introduction to Life Sciences: Brain and Cognition
Experimental Physiology and Neurobiology(I, II)
Cognitive Neuroscience
3D-Microscopyand Scientific Frontiers

Graduate courses:
Principles of Neuroscience (I, II)
Advanced Neurobiology Experiments
Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology
Visual Neuroscience
Auditory Neuroscience
Synaptic Structure and Function
Advances in Neural Plasticity
Clinical Neurobiology
Neuropharmacology and Toxicology
Neuroscience LiteratureReading
Neural Network and Its Application