Wei ZHANG, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator


2000-2004   山东大学生命科学学院                 学士

2004-2010   中国科学院神经科学研究所             博士

2010-2016   加州大学旧金山分校/霍华德休斯医学院  博士后

2017-今     清华大学生命科学学院                 研究员


Research interest

Mechanosensation, which underlies both hearing and somatosensation, is one of the least understood sensory modalities. It is thought to employ mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels to detect mechanical cues, such as touch, noxious mechanical stimuli, proprioceptive information and sound/vibration, however, the molecular and cellular mechanisms for mechanosensation remain largely unknown. We aim to study mechanosensation with high-throughput approaches and cutting-edge technologies. Our research goal is to characterize the mechanosensitive channels and neural circuit underlying hearing, somatosensation and other mechanosensory modalities.



Selected publications


1.Pingping Wang, Yinjun Jia, Ting Liu, Yuh-Nung Jan*, Zhang, Wei*. Visceral Mechano-sensing Neurons Control Drosophila Feeding by Using Piezo as a Sensor,Neuron, 2020.

2. Chenxi Liu, Bei Zhang, Liwei Zhang, Tingting Yang, Zhewei Zhang, Zihua Gao, Zhang, Wei*. A neural circuit encoding mating states tunes defensive behavior in Drosophila, Nature Communications, 2020.

3. Zhang, Liwei#*; Yu, Jie#; Guo, Xuan; Wei, Jianhua; Liu, Ting; Zhang, Wei*. Parallel mechanosensory pathways direct oviposition decision of Drosophila.Current Biology 2020.

4. Zhenyu Zhang, Zhiyuan Li, Ting Liu,Wei Zhang*. Molecular basis for cephalic mechanosensitivity of Drosophila larvae,Neuroscience Bulletin,2020.

5. Li, Yawen#; Hu, Yufei#; Wang, Jiawei; Liu, Xin*; Wei Zhang*;Sun, Linfeng*;Structural Insights into a Plant Mechanosensitive Ion Channel MSL1,Cell Reports,2020.

6. Zhang, Ziyang#; Li, Tianran#; …;Wei Zhang*;He, Yuhan; Pei, Jing; Ma, Cheng; Li, Guoqi; Haizheng Xu,; Shi, Luping*; Peng, Hailin*; Li, Huanglong*;Truly Concomitant and Independently Expressed Short‐and Long‐Term Plasticity in a Bi2O2Se‐Based Three‐Terminal Memristor,Advanced Materials,2019.

7. Hu, Yufei; Wang, Zhilin; Liu, Ting;Wei Zhang*;Piezo-like Gene Regulates Locomotion in Drosophila Larvae,Cell Reports,2019.


1.       Li, J., Zhang, W*., Guo, Z., Wu, S., Jan, L.Y., and Jan, Y.N. (2016). A defensive kicking behavior in response to mechanical stimuli mediated by Drosophila wing margin bristles. J. Neurosci. 36:11275-11282. *: Co-first authors.

2.       Guo Y.*, Wang Y.*, Zhang, W.*, Meltzer S.*, Zanini, D*., Yu Y., Li, J., Cheng, T., Guo, Z., Wang Q., Jacobs J. S., Sharma Y., Eberl D., G?pfert, M., Jan, L.Y., Jan, Y.N. and Wang Z. Transmembrane channel-like (tmc) gene regulates Drosophila larval locomotion. P.N.A.S.  2016 Jun 28;113(26):7243-8. *: Co-first authors.

3.       Zhang, W.*, Cheng, L.E.*, Kittelmann, M.*, Li, J., Petkovic, M., Cheng, T., Jin, P., Guo, Z., G?pfert, M., Jan, L.Y., Jan, Y.N. (2015). Ankyrin Repeats Act as a Tether for Conveying Force to Gate the NOMPC Mechanotransduction Channel. Cell. 10 September 2015, 162, Issue 6, p1391–1403. *: Co-first authors.

4.       Zhang, W*., Yan, Z.*, Li, B., Jan, Y.L., Jan, Y.N. (2014). Identification of motor neurons and a mechanosensitive sensory neuron in the defecation circuitry of Drosophila larvae. eLife. 2014; 10.7554/eLife.03293. *: Co-first authors.

5.       Zhang, W., Yan, Z., Jan, Y.L., Jan, Y.N. (2013). Sound response mediated by the TRP channels NOMPC, NANCHUNG, and INACTIVE in chordotonal organs of Drosophila larvae. P.N.A.S. vol. 110, no. 33.

6.       Yan, Z.*, Zhang, W.*, He, Y., Gorczyca, D., Xiang, Y., Cheng, L., Meltzer, S., Jan, Y.L., Jan, Y.N. (2013). Drosophila NompC is a mechanotransduction channel subunit for gentle-touch sensation. Nature. 2013 Jan 10; 493(7431): 221-5. *: Co-first authors.

7.       Hu, A.*, Zhang, W.*, Wang, Z. (2010). Functional feedback from mushroom bodies to antennal lobes in the Drosophila olfactory pathway. P.N.A.S. vol. 107 no. 22 10262-10267. *: Co-first authors.

8.       Zhang, W., Ge, W., and Wang, Z. (2007). A toolbox for light control of Drosophila behaviors through Channelrhodopsin 2-mediated photoactivation of targeted neurons. Eur. J. Neurosci. 26: 2405-2416.



Contact information

Tel: +86-10-62790589(lab)   +86-10-62796065(office)

Email: weizhang0505@126.com