BI Guoqiang

BI Guoqiang

PhD, Professor, Principal Investigator
Decoding brain circuits and plasticity
Office Phone: 


The brain consists of myriad neurons that connect with one another through heterogeneous and plastic synaptic connections, forming highly ordered circuits with multi-scale complexity. Neuronal activity within and across these circuits shapes their connectivity and underlies perception, emotion, decision and learning in animals and human.

Towards understanding this complex system, Dr. Bi’s group aims at developing and applying cutting-edge light and electron microscopy techniques, as well as AI-based data analysis methods, to explore the organization and activity of the brain across multiple spatiotemporal scales. In particular, we will establish digital libraries of . The ultimate goal is to understand the logic behind the structure and dynamics of brain circuits, to reveal basic mechanisms underlying brain function and dysfunction, and to inspire next generation artificial intelligence.

Current research directions include:

(1) Molecular architecture and plasticity of neuronal synapses, and computation via spike-timing-dependent plasticity;

(2) Cross-species mapping of brain circuits, and circuit expression of learning and memory;

(3) Imaging and big data techniques and their biomedical applications.


2020-, Principal Investigator (co-appointment), SIAT CAS

2008-, Xinchuang Professor, University of Science and Technology of China

2000-2008, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor (tenured), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

1996-2000, Postdoc, University of California at San Diego

1991-1996, PhD, University of California at Berkley

1990-1991, MS, University of New York

1985-1989, BS, Peking University

Selected publications

  1. Xu F, Shen Y, Ding LF, Yang CY, Tan H, Wang H, Zhu QY, Xu R, Wu FY, Xu C, Li QW, Su P, Zhang LI, Dong HW, Desimone R, Xu FQ, Hu XT, Lau PM & Bi GQ. (2021) High-throughput whole-brain mapping of rhesus monkey at micron resolution. Nat Biotech, in press.
  2. Liu YT, Tao CL, Zhang XK, Xia WJ, Shi DQ, Qi L, Xu C, Sun R, Li XW, Lau PM, Zhou ZH & Bi GQ. (2020) Mesophasic organization of GABAA receptors in hippocampal inhibitory synapse. Nat Neurosci 23, 1589–1596.
  3. Wang H, Zhu Q, Ding L, Shen Y, Yang C-Y, Xu F, Shu C, Guo Y, Xiong Z, Shan Q, Jia F, Su P, Yang Q-R, Li B, He X, Chen X, Wu F, Zhou J-N, Xu F, Han H, Lau PM & Bi GQ. (2019) Scalable volumetric imaging for ultrahigh-speed brain mapping at synaptic resolution. Natl Sci Rev6, 982-992. 
  4. Liu YT#, Tao CL#, Lau PM, Zhou ZH & Bi GQ. Postsynaptic protein organization revealed by electron microscopy. Current opinion in structural biology 54, Curr Opin Struct Biol152-160 (2019).
  5. Tao CL, Liu YT, Sun R, Zhang B, Qi L, Shivakoti S, Tian CL, Zhang P, Lau PM, Zhou ZH & Bi GQ. (2018) Differentiation and characterization of excitatory and inhibitory synapses by cryo-electron tomography and correlative microscopy. J Neurosci, 38, 1493-1510.
  6. Fu ZX, Tan X, Fang H, Lau PM, Wang X, Cheng H & Bi GQ. (2017) Dendritic mitoflash as a putative signal for stabilizing long-term synaptic plasticity. Nat Commun 8, 31, doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00043-3.
  7. Shim SH, Xia C, Zhong G, Babcock HP, Vaughan JC, Huang B, Wang X, Xu C, Bi GQ & Zhuang X. (2012) Super-resolution fluorescence imaging of organelles in live cells with photoswitchable membrane probes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109, 13978-13983.
  8. Zhang JC, Lau PM & Bi GQ. (2009) Gain in sensitivity and loss in temporal contrast of STDP by dopaminergic modulation at hippocampal synapses. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106, 13028-13033.
  9. Wang HX, Gerkin RC, Nauen DW & Bi GQ. (2005) Coactivation and timing-dependent integration of synaptic potentiation and depression. Nat Neurosci 8, 187-193.
  10. Lau PM & Bi GQ. (2005) Synaptic mechanisms of persistent reverberatory activity in neuronal networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102, 10333-10338.
  11. Bi GQ & Rubin J. (2005) Timing in synaptic plasticity: from detection to integration. Trends Neurosci 28, 222-228.
  12. Bi GQ & Poo Mm. (2001) Synaptic modification by correlated activity: Hebb's postulate revisited. Annu Rev Neurosci 24, 139-166.
  13. Bi GQ & Poo Mm. (1999) Distributed synaptic modification in neural networks induced by patterned stimulation. Nature 401, 792-796.
  14. Bi GQ & Poo Mm. (1998) Synaptic modifications in cultured hippocampal neurons: Dependence on spike timing, synaptic strength, and postsynaptic cell type. J Neurosci 18, 10464-10472.
  15. Bi GQ, Alderton JM & Steinhardt RA. (1995) Calcium-regulated exocytosis is required for cell membrane resealing. J Cell Biol 131, 1747-1758.
  16. Steinhardt RA, Bi GQ & Alderton JM. (1994) Cell membrane resealing by a vesicular mechanism similar to neurotransmitter release. Science 263, 390-393.