Principal Investigators

Wenzhi Sun Ph.D.

E-mail: sunwenzhi@@cibr.ac.cn(remove one@ when use it)

Phone: +86-10-81912613

Lab Homepage:


2004 Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience (Advisor: Dr. Shigang He), Institute of Neuroscience (ION), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

1999 Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology, Ocean University of China (OUC), Qingdao, Shandong, China

Professional Experience

January. 2020 -present , Assistant  Investigator & Researcher, 

School of Basic Medical Sciences, Capital Medical University

2018-present,  PI & Researcher

Chinese Institute for Brain Research, CIBR, Beijing, China

Sept 2016 -2018  Associate Research Professor

iHuman Institute, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai, China

May.2012 – Sept 2016 Research Specialist (Na Ji Lab)
HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn VA, USA

Nov.2010 – May.2012 Associate Research Scientist (Wayne N Frankel Lab)
the Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor ME, USA

Dec.2004 – Oct.2010 Postdoc Fellow/Research Associate (Yang Dan Lab)
University of California, Berkeley/HHMI, Berkeley CA, USA

Research Description

Our lab is focused on the neurocircuits related to emotions and relevant brain disorders utilizing cutting-edge technologies from molecular to systems levels. The lab also develops advanced optical techniques to tackle the important neurobiological questions.    


1. Xiong N*#, Gao X, Zhao H*, Cai F, Zhang FC, Yuan Y, Liu W, He F, Zacharias LG, Lin H, Vu HS, Xing C, Yao DX, Chen F, Luo B, Sun W, DeBerardinis DJ, Hao Xu H, Ge WP(2020) Using arterial-venous analysis to characterize cancer metabolic consumption in patients. Nature Communications (accepted)

2. Gaolin Qiu, Ying Wu, Zeyong Yang, Long Li, Xiaona Zhu, Yiqiao Wang, Wenzhi Sun, Hailong Dong, Yuanhai Li, Ji Hu (2020), Dexmedetomidine Activation of Dopamine Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area Attenuates the Depth of Sedation in Mice. Anesthesiology 2020

3. Xu Zhang*, Bo Lei*, Yuan Yuan*, Li Zhang, Lu Hu, Sen Jin, Bilin Kang, Xuebin Liao, Wenzhi Sun, Fuqiang Xu, Yi Zhong#, Ji Hu#, Hai Qi# (2020), Brain control of humoral immune responses amenable to behavioural modulation. Nature 581: 204–208

4. Xiaofei Gao*, Zhaohuan Zhang, Tomoyuki Mashimo, Bo Shen, James Nyagilo, Hao Wang, Yihui Wang, Zhida Liu, Aditi Mulgaonkar, Xiao-Ling Hu, Sara GM Piccirillo, Ugur Eskiocak, Digant P Davé, Song Qin, Yongjie Yang, Xiankai Sun, Yang-Xin Fu, Hui Zong, Wenzhi Sun, Robert M Bachoo, Woo-ping Ge# (2020), Gliomas Interact with Non-glioma Brain Cells via Extracellular Vesicles. Cell Reports 30: 2489-2500

5. Xiao Y*, Luo H, Yang WZ, Zeng Y, Shen Y, Ni X, Shi Z, Zhong J, Liang Z, Fu X, Tu H, Sun W, Shen WL#, Hu J#, Yang J# (2020), A brain signaling framework for stress-induced depression and ketamine treatment elucidated by phosphoproteomics. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 14: 48 

6. Fang Wang*, Juen Zhang, Yuan Yuan, Ming Chen, Zilong Gao, Shulu Zhan, Chengyu Fan, Wenzhi Sun#, Ji Hu# (2020), Salience Processing by Glutamatergic Neurons in the Ventral Pallidum. Sci Bull 65:389-401 

7. Zheng-dong Zhao*, Zongming Chen*, Xinkuan Xiang*, Mengna Hu, Hengchang Xie, Xiaoning Jia, Fang Cai, Yuting Cui, Zijun Chen, Lechen Qian, Jiashu Liu, Congping Shang, Yiqing Yang, Xinyan Ni, Wenzhi Sun, Ji Hu, Peng Cao, Haohong Li#, Wei L Shen#  (2019), Zona incerta GABAergic neurons integrate prey-related sensory signals and induce an appetitive drive to promote hunting. Nature Neuroscience 22: 921-932 

8. Yuan, Yuan#; Wu, Wwei#; Chen, Ming; Cai, Fang; Fan, Chengyu; Shen, Wei; Sun, Wenzhi*; Hu, Ji.*; Re ward Inhibits Paraventricular CRH Neurons to Relieve Stress, Curr Biol, 2019, 2 9(7): 1243-1251.

9. Su XY*, Chen M*, Yuan Y, Li Y, Luo HQ, Sun W, Zhu MX, Liu MG#, Hu J#, Xu TL# (2019), Central processing of itch in the midbrain reward center. Neuron 102: 858-872

10. Zhou H, Zhang S, LV F, Sun W, Wang L, Fan C, Li J# & Hu J# (2019), Citrate‐assisted efficient local delivery of naked oligonucleotide into live mouse brain cells. Cell proliferation 52: e12622.

11. Liang Y, Sun W, Lu R, Chen M & Ji N (2019), A distinct population of L6 neurons in mouse V1 mediate cross-callosal communication. bioRxiv 778019

12. Zhang S, Lv F, Yuan Y, Fan C, Li J, Sun W, Hu J# (2019), Whole-Brain Mapping of Monosynaptic Afferent Inputs to Cortical CRH Neurons. Frontiers in Neuroscience 13: e565.

13. Richie CT, Whitaker LR, Whitaker KW, Necarsulmer J, Baldwin HA, Zhang Y, Fortuno L, Hinkle JJ, Koivula P, Henderson MJ, Sun W, Wang K, Smith JC, Pickel J, N Ji, Hope BT, Harvey BK# (2017), Near-infrared fluorescent protein iRFP713 as a reporter protein for optogenetic vectors, a transgenic Cre-reporter rat, and other neuronal studies. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 284, 1-14

14. Lu R, W Sun, Liang Y, Kerlin A, Bierfeld J, Seelig J, Wilson V, Scholl B, Mohar B, Tanimoto M, Koyama M, Fitzpatrick D,Orger MB, Ji N# (2017), Video-rate volumetric functional imaging of the brain at synaptic resolution. Nature Neuroscience, 20, 620-628.

15. Sun W, Tan Z, Mensh BD & Ji N # (2016), Thalamus provides layer 4 of primary visual cortex with tuned inputs. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 308-315.(Highlighted by HHMI Research News https://www.hhmi.org/news/adaptive-optics-helps-reveal-what-eyes-tell-brain)

16. Tan Z, Sun W, Chen TW, Kim D & Ji N# (2015) Stimulus Feature Selectivity for Ultraviolet Light in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex.  Scientific Reports, 5: 12597. doi: 10.1038/srep12597.

17.  Wang K*, Sun W*, Richie CT, Harvey BK, Betzig E & Ji N(2015), Direct wavefront sensing for high-resolution in vivo imaging in scattering tissue. Nature Communications, 6:7276. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8276.

18. Wang C*, Liu R*, Milkie DE, Sun W , Tan Z, Kerlin A, Chen TW, Kim DS & Ji N# (2014) Multiplexed aberration measurement for deep tissue imaging in vivo. Nature Methods, 11: 1037–1040

19.  Sun W, Wagnon JL, Mahaffey CL, Briese M, Ule J & Frankel WN# (2013) Aberrant Sodium Channel Activity in the Complex Seizure Disorder of Celf4 Mutant Mice. Journal of Physiology, 591:241-255, (Highlighted in Future Neurology, 8(3):255-257)

20. Wagnon JL*, Briese M*, Sun W, Mahaffey CL, Li Y, Curk Y, Rot G, Lin D, Ule J & Frankel WN# (2012) CELF4 regulates translation and local abundance of a vast set of mRNAs, including genes associated with regulation of synaptic function. PLoS Genetics, 8 (11), e1003067

21. Wagnon JL, Mahaffey CL, Sun W, Yang Y, Chao HT & Frankel WN# (2011) Etiology of a Genetically Complex Seizure Disorder in Celf4 Mutant Mice. Gene, Brain and Behavior, 10:765-777

22. Sun W & Dan Y# (2009) Layer-Specific Network Oscillation and spatiotemporal Receptive Field in the Visual Cortex, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106:17986-17991.

23. Sun W*, Deng Q* & He S(2006), ON direction-selective ganglion cells in the mouse retina. Journal of Physiology, 576:197-202.

24. Weng S, Sun W & He S# (2005) Identification of ON-OFF direction-selective ganglion cells in the mouse retina. Journal of Physiology, 562: 915 – 923.

25. Diao L, Sun W , Deng Q & He S# (2004) Development of the mouse retina: emerging morphological diversity of the ganglion cells. Journal of Neurobiology, 61: 236-249.

26. Dong W, Sun W, Zhang Y, Chen X & He S# (2004) Dendritic relationship between starburst amacrine cells and direction-selective ganglion cells in the rabbit retina. Journal of Physiology, 556: 11-17.

27. He S#, Dong W, Deng Q, Weng S & Sun W (2003) Seeing More Clearly: Recent Advances in Understanding Retinal Circuitry. Science, 302:408-411. (Review)

28. Sun W#, Li N & He S (2002) Large-scale morphological survey of rat retinal ganglion cells. Visual Neuroscience, 19:483-493. 

29. Sun W, Li N & He S# (2002) Large-scale morphological survey of mouse retinal ganglion cells. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 451:115-126.

*: first author; # corresponding author.