ZHU Yingjie

ZHU Yingjie

PhD, Principal investigator

Understand how brain circuits mediate motivated behavior and how disruption of these circuits leads to various kinds of neuropsychiatric disorders such as drug addiction and depression.

Key Labhttp://szkl-addiction.siat.ac.cn

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Motivated behaviors such as seeking reward and avoiding danger are essential for animal to survive. The brain mechanisms underlying those behaviors have not been fully characterized. Moreover, abnormal motivated behavior is a prominent feature of many neuropsychiatric diseases including drug addiction and depression. Recent studies have suggested that paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT) play a critical role in processing negative emotions such as fear and anxiety.Our previous study also demonstrated that PVT to the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) pathway mediates opiate withdrawal symptoms. Currently, we apply multidisciplinary approach, including viral-based neural tracing, optogenetic manipulation, in-vivo and slice electrophysiology to study the role of PVT and related circuits in motivated behavior.


Director of Shenzhen Key Lab of Drug Addcition since 2020.
Executive director of Shenzhen Neher Neural Plasticity Laboratory since 2019.
Principal investigator at SIAT CAS since 2017.
2013-2017, Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University.
2006-2013, Institute of Neuroscience, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, PhD.
2002-2006, Sun Yat-Sen University, BSc in Biochemistry.

Selected publications

1. Keyes, Piper; Adams, Eliza; Chen, Zijun; Bi, Linlin; Nachtrab, Gregory; Wang, Vickie; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Zhu, Yingjie*; Chen, Xiaoke*; Orchestrating Opiate-Associated Memories in Thalamic Circuits, Neuron, 2020, 107: 1–11 .

2.Zhou K, Zhu Y. (2019) The paraventricular thalamic nucleus: A key hub of neural circuits underlying drug addiction. Pharmacol Res. , 142:70-76.

3.Zhu Y., Nachtrab G., Keyes P., Allen W., Luo L.,Chen X. (2018) Dynamic Salience Processing in Paraventricular Thalamus Gates Associative Learning. Science, 362(6413):423-429.

4.Zhu Y., Wienecke C, Nachtrab G, Chen X. (2016) A thalamic input to the nucleus accumbens mediates opiate dependence. Nature, 530:219-222.

5.Zhu Y, Qiao W, Liu K, Zhong H, Yao H. (2015) Control of response reliability by parvalbumin-expressing interneurons in visual cortex. Nat. Commun. 6:6802.

6.Zhu Y, Yao H. (2013) Modification of visual cortical receptive field induced by natural stimuli. Cereb. Cortex. 23:1923-1932.