Ph.D., The University of British Columbia, 2003
|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.
Wang, M. and Perova, Z. and Arenkiel, B. R. and Li, B. (2014) Synaptic modifications in the medial prefrontal cortex in susceptibility and resilience to stress. Journal of Neuroscience 34(22) pp. 7485-92.
Penzo, M. A. and Robert, V. and Li, B. (2014) Fear Conditioning Potentiates Synaptic Transmission onto Long-Range Projection Neurons in the Lateral Subdivision of Central Amygdala. Journal of Neuroscience 34(7) pp. 2432-7.
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.
Li, B. and Piriz, J. and Mirrione, M. and Chung, C. H. and Proulx, C. D. and Schulz, D. and Henn, F. A. and Malinow, R. (2011) Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression. Nature 470(7335) pp. 535-U125.
Li, B. and Woo, R. S. and Mei, L. and Malinow, R. (2007) The Neuregulin-1 Receptor ErbB4 Controls Glutamatergic Synapse Maturation and Plasticity. Neuron 54(4) pp. 583-97.Additional materials of the author at
CSHL Institutional Repository
WSBS Teaching Award 2015 for Bo Li
2015 NARSAD Independent Investigator grant award