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Synapse and Neural Circuit Research Unit - Division of Intramural Research


Wei Lu Image

Wei Lu, Ph.D., Investigator

Dr. Lu received his degrees from Sichuan University (Bachelor, 1997), Zhejiang University (Master, 2000) and New York University (Ph.D., 2006). His graduate study, in the laboratory of Dr. Edward Ziff, was on biochemical characterization of neuronal glutamate receptors and their interacting proteins. He did his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Roger Nicoll at the University of California, San Francisco, where he combined electrophysiological and single-cell genetic approaches to study excitatory synaptic transmission in rodents. During his postdoctoral training, Dr. Lu received a Pathway to Independence Award (K99) from NIMH. Dr. Lu joined the NINDS as an investigator in January 2012. His laboratory now employs multidisciplinary approaches to study synaptic transmission and neural circuit function.

Laboratory Staff

Xinglong Gu, Ph.D., Research Fellow
Mary Anne Hutchison, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral IRTA
Jun Li, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow
Xia Mao, M.D., M,S., Biologist
Liang Zhou, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow

Research Interests

The lab is broadly interested in synapses, the specialized cellular junctions essential for rapid communication between neurons. These synaptic junctions physically and functionally connect individual neurons into continuous neural circuits that give rise to behavior and cognition. Currently, research in the lab is focused on the regulation of the structure and function of synapses, in particular molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity, a cellular model for learning and memory. We are also interested in mechanisms and function of the interaction between glutamatergic synaptic transmission and neuromodulation at both synaptic and systems levels. The lab extensively employs techniques in electrophysiology, molecular biology and in vivo manipulation of neuronal gene expression, and is equipped with state-of-the-art mouse genetic tools to facilitate scientific discoveries. These genetic tools allow one to eliminate glutamatergic synaptic input onto single neurons or specific brain regions (Figure 1).


Selected Recent Publications

  • Lu W, Bushong EA, Shih TP, Ellisman MH, Nicoll RA
    The Cell-Autonomous Role of Excitatory Synaptic Transmission in the Regulation of Neuronal Structure and Function, Neuron, 2013, vol. 78, pp. 433-439.
  • Lu W, Roche KW
    Posttranslational regulation of AMPA receptor trafficking and function, Curr Opin Neurobiol, 2012, vol. Jun, pp. 22(3):470-9.
  • Lu W, Isozaki K, Roche KW, Nicoll RA
    A CaMKII site in the first intracellular loop of GluA1 regulates synaptic targeting of AMPARs, PNAS Dec 21, 2010, vol. 107(51), pp. 22266-71.
  • Lu W, Shi Y, Jackson AC, Bjorgan K, During MJ, Sprengel R, Seeburg PH, Nicoll RA
    Subunit composition of synaptic AMPA receptors revealed by a single-cell genetic approach, Neuron, 2009, vol. 62, pp. 254-268.


Contact Information

Synapse and Neural Circuit Research Unit, NINDS
9000 Rockville Pike
35 Convent Drive 3A/201
Bethesda, MD 20892

Telephone: 301-594-6207 (office), 301-435-7655 (laboratory)
Email: luw4@mail.nih.gov