Minmin LUO, Ph.D.

Professor Outstanding Young Talent of the National Science Foundation for China

1995 Peking University, China/B.S.
1997 University of Pennsylvania, USA/Computer Science M.S.

2000 University of Pennsylvania, USA/Neuroscience Ph.D.

2000-2004 Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University/Postdoc
2004-2005 Institute of Neuroscience/Investigator
2005-present National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing/Investigator
2009-present School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, China/Professor

Research interest

I am interested in how mammalian neural circuits organize behavioral responses to reward and punishment. My group focuses on the dorsal raphe, medial habenula, and their interconnected brain areas. We study how genetically identified neuron types respond during the behaving state. Using optogenetics and chemogenetics, we also examine how stimulation, inhibition, or lesion of specific neurons affects animal behaviors. Finally, we combine physiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry to study the underlying molecular cellular mechanisms.

Selected publications

1. Lin R, Feng Q, Li P, Zhou P, Wang R, Liu Z, Wang Z, Qi Z, Tang N, Shao F, Luo MCA(2018) A hybridizationchain-reaction-based method for amplifying immunosignals. Nature Methods doi:10.1038/nmeth.4611

2. Li Y, Zeng J, Zhang J, Yue C, Zhong W, Liu Z, Feng Q, Luo MCA(2018) Hypothalamic Circuits for Predation and Evasion Neuron 97, 911–924.

Zhang J, Tan L, Ren Y, Liang J, Lin R, Feng Q, Zhou J, Hu F, Ren J, Wei C, Yu T, Zhuang Y, Bettler B, Wang F, 3. Luo MCA(2016) Presynaptic excitation via GABAB receptors in habenula cholinergic neurons regulates fear memory expression. Cell 166:716–728.

4. Li Y, Zhong W, Wang D, Feng Q, Liu Z, Zhou J, Jia C, Hu F, Zeng J, Guo Q, Fu L, Luo MCA(2016) Serotonin neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus encode reward signals. Nature Comms 7:10503 doi: 10.1038/ncomms10503.

5. Liu Z*, Zhou J*, Li Y, Hu F, Wang D, Lu Y, Ma M, Feng Q, Zhang J, Zeng J, Bao, Kim J, Chen Z, Mestikawy SE, Luo MCA(2014) Dorsal raphe neurons signal reward through 5-HT and glutamate. Neuron 81:1360–1374.  

6. Gong R*, Ding C*, Hu J*, Lu Y, Liu F, Mann E, Xu F, Cohen MB and Luo MCA(2011) Role for the membrane receptor guanylyl cyclase-C in attention deficiency and hyperactive behavior. Science 333:1642-1646.

7. Ren J, Qin C, Hu F, Tan J, Qiu L, Zhao S, Feng G, Luo MCA(2011) Habenula "cholinergic" neurons co-release glutamate and acetylcholine and activate postsynaptic neurons via distinct transmission modes. Neuron 69:445-452.

8. Hu J*, Zhong C*, Ding C, Chi Q, Walz A, Mombaerts P, Matsunami H, and Luo MCA (2007) Detection of near-atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by an olfactory subsystem. Science 317:953-957.



2002 – 2007, Career Awards in the Biomedical Sciences, Burroughs Wellcome Fund (Declined in 2005)

2006 – 2009, Human Frontier Science Projects Young Investigator Grant (Coapplicant with H. Matsunami at Duke University)

2006 – 2009, Young Investigator Award, National Natural Sciences Foundation of China

2009 CT Chan Award for Outstanding Young Neuroscientists

2011 China Youth Science and Technology Award

2016 Wu Jieping- Paul Jassen Medical – Pharmaceutical Award



Contact information



通讯地址/Address:北京市清华大学生命科学学院罗敏敏 100084