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Bo Li


Ph.D., The University of British Columbia, 2003

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(516) 367-8485 (p)
  Li Lab Website
My group studies the neural circuits underlying cognitive function and dysfunction as they relate to anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and autism.  We use sophisticated technologies to manipulate specific neural circuits in the rodent brain to determine their role in behavior.  We are interested in changes in synaptic strength that may underlie mental disorders.
Understanding the link between neural circuits and behavior has been the focus of research in my lab. We are particularly interested in studying the synaptic and circuit mechanisms underlying reward processing, attention, and learning and memory; as well as synaptic and circuit dysfunctions responsible for maladaptive behaviors that are related to major mental disorders. We integrate in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, imaging, molecular, genetic, optogenetic, and chemogenetic techniques to probe and manipulate the function of specific neural circuits – with a focus on the fear and reward circuits – in the rodent brain, and to determine how these circuits participate in adaptive or maladaptive behavioral responses in various tasks.

Stephenson-Jones, M. and Yu, K. and Ahrens, S. and Tucciarone, J. M. and van Huijstee, A. N. and Mejia, L. A. and Penzo, M. A. and Tai, L. H. and Wilbrecht, L. and Li, B. (2016) A basal ganglia circuit for evaluating action outcomes. Nature 539(7628) pp. 289-293.

Yu, K. and Garcia da Silva, P. and Albeanu, D. F. and Li, B. (2016) Central Amygdala Somatostatin Neurons Gate Passive and Active Defensive Behaviors. J Neurosci 36(24) pp. 6488-96.

Penzo, M. A. and Robert, V. and Tucciarone, J. and De Bundel, D. and Wang, M. and Van Aelst, L. and Darvas, M. and Parada, L. F. and Palmiter, R. D. and He, M. and Huang, Z. J. and Li, B. (2015) The paraventricular thalamus controls a central amygdala fear circuit. Nature 519(7544) pp. 455-459.

Ahrens, S. and Jaramillo, S. and Yu, K. and Ghosh, S. and Hwang, G. and Paik, R. and Lai, C. and He, M. and Huang, Z. J. and Li, B. (2015) ErbB4 regulation of a thalamic reticular nucleus circuit for sensory selection. Nature Neuroscience 18pp. 104-111.

Li, H. and Penzo, M. A. and Taniguchi, H. and Kopec, C. D. and Huang, Z. J. and Li, B. (2013) Experience-dependent modification of a central amygdala fear circuit. Nature Neuroscience 16(3) pp. 332-339.

Additional materials of the author at
CSHL Institutional Repository

WSBS Teaching Award 2015 for Bo Li
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2015 NARSAD Independent Investigator grant award
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