Lau Pakming

Lau Pakming

PhD, Professor, Principal Investigator
Circuit Dynamics Underlying Brain Function and Disorders
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Lau lab focuses on the dynamics of neuronal synapses and networks, and the neural circuitry mechanisms underlying brain disorders, especially those related to emotional stress.

We employ electrophysiological and optical approaches to study the dynamics of neuronal network in vitro and in vivo. Pharmacological and optogenetic manipulations are used to modulate neuronal circuit dynamics and to establish animal models of emotion-related disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and autism. To systematically dissect neural circuits involved in such disorders, we also develop and apply high-throughput system-wide mapping techniques based on tissue clearing and high-speed 3D imaging (VISoR) in collaboration with Dr. Guoqiang Bi’s group.

Current research directions include:

(1) Emergence of reverberatory activity with conserved firing patterns in neuronal networks through activity-dependent synaptic plasticity;

(2) Brain-wide activity mapping and neural circuitry mechanisms in animal models of depression, anxiety, and autism;

(3) The mind-body problem – how mental conditions interact with functional and diseased states of internal organs through central-peripheral connectivity.


2020- , Principal Investigator, SIAT CAS

2009- , Professor, University of Science and Technology of China

2006-2008, Research Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

2000-2006, Research Associate, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

1999-2000, Postdoc, University of California at San Diego

1993-1999, PhD, University of California at Berkeley

1985-1989, BS, Peking University

Selected publications

  1. Li F, Jia C, Huang J, Bi GQ, Lau PM. (2020) High frequency optogenetic activation of inputs to the lateral amygdala forms distant association with foot-shock. Mol Brain 13: 44.
  2. Wang H, Zhu Q, Ding L, Shen Y, Yang CY, Xu F, Shu C, Guo Y, Xiong Z, Shan Q, Jia F, Su P, Yang QR, Li B, He X, Chen X, Wu F, Zhou JN, Xu F, Han H, Lau PM, Bi GQ. (2019) Scalable volumetric imaging for ultrahigh-speed brain mapping at synaptic resolution. Natl Sci Rev 6: 982–992.
  3. Guo Y, Tang X, Zhang J, Jin S, Li J, Ding L, Zhang K, Yang C, Zhou H, He X, Xu F, Bi GQ, Xu L, Lau PM. (2018) Corticosterone signaling and a lateral habenula-ventral tegmental area circuit modulate compulsive self-injurious behavior in a rat model. J Neurosci 38: 5251-5266.
  4. Lau PM, Bi GQ. (2009) Reverberatory activity in neuronal networks: synaptic mechanisms, dynamics and plasticity. (in Coherent Behavior in Neuronal Networks, ed J.E. Rubin) Springer.
  5. 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.
  6. Gerkin RC, Lau PM, Nauen DW, Wang YT, Bi GQ. (2007) Modular competition driven by NMDA receptor subtypes in spike-timing-dependent plasticity. J Neurophysiol 97: 2851-2862.
  7. Lau PM, Bi GQ. (2005) Synaptic mechanisms of persistent reverberatory activity in neuronal networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102: 10333-10338.