PhD, Professor
combines electrophysiology, animal behavior and computational methods to study the neural circuits underlying behavior.
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Neural circuits are the neural basis for memory and emotions. The pathological changes associated with the neural circuits can cause neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiartrate diseases. Microglia, one specific type of glial cells in the brain, have been found to have important roles in synapse development and maturation of the neural circuit. A major deficit in microglia numbers is sufficient to induce autism-related phenotypes. The lab studies the interaction between the glia and the neurons at physiological, information processing and neural circuitry levels using multidisciplinary approaches. We take advantage of optogenetic and pharmacogenetic tools to manipulate neurons and microglia to study the neuronal or microglial pathways that control specific behaviors. Neural circuit tracing techniques are employed to study the structural and functional mechanisms. The lab also aims to collaborate with non-human primate experts and employ the newly developed genetic monkey models to facilitate the translational neuroscience research. We are also developing computational tools for analyzing recorded neuronal activities, including spikes, local field potentials, EEG and optical signals.


Principal investigator at SIAT CAS since 2014
Postdoctoral research at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
2010, University of Cambridge, PhD.
2005, University of York, MSc
2003, Dalian University of Technology, BEng in Electronic and Information Engineering

Selected publications

1. Franklin TB, Silva BA, Perova Z, Marrone L, Masferrer ME, Zhan Y, Kaplan A, Greetham L, Verrechia V, Halman A, Pagella S, Vyssotski AL, Illarionova A, Grinevich V, Branco T, Gross CT. Prefrontal cortical control of a brainstem social behavior circuit. Nat Neurosci. 2017, 20(2):260-270.
2. Zhan Y. Harnessing GABAergic Transmission for Slow Oscillations. Neurosci Bull. 2016, 32(5): 501-502.
3. Song W, Xu Q, Zhang Y, Zhan Y, Zheng W, Song L. Fully integrated reflection-mode photoacoustic, two-photon, and second harmonic generation microscopy in vivo, Sci Rep. 2016, 6: 32240.
4. Lu Y, Zhong C, Wang L, Wei P, He W, Huang K, Zhang Y, Zhan Y, Feng G, Wang L. Optogenetic dissection of ictal propagation in the hippocampal-entorhinal cortex structures. Nat Commun. 2016, 7:10962.
5. Dai XJ, Nie X, Liu X, Pei L, Jiang J, Peng DC, Gong HH, Zeng XJ, Wáng YJ, Zhan Y, Gender Differences in Regional Brain Activity in Patients with Chronic Primary Insomnia: Evidence from a Resting-State fMRI Study. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016, 12(3): 363–374.
6. Zhan Y. Theta frequency prefrontal hippocampal driving relationship during free exploration in mice,Neuroscience, 2015, 300:554 565.
7. Amendola E, Zhan Y, Mattucci C, Castroflorio E, Calcagno E, Fuchs C, Lonetti G, Silingardi D, Farley D, Ciani E, Pizzorusso T, Giustetto M, Gross C. Mapping pathological phenotypes in a mouse model of CDKL5 disorder2014, PLoS ONE, 9(5), e91613.
8. Zhan Y, Paolicelli RC, Gozzi, A, Pagani F, Gozzi A, Vyssotski A, Bifone A, Ragozzino D, and Gross C. Deficient neuron-microglia signaling results in impaired functional brain connectivity and social behavior, Nature Neurosci.2014,17(3): 400-406.
9. Zhang X, Kendrick KM, Zhou H, Zhan Y, Feng J. A Computational Study on Altered Theta-Gamma Coupling during Learning and Phase Coding, PLoS ONE,2012,7(6), e36472.
10. Kendrick KM, Zhan Y, Fischer H, Nicol AU, Zhang X Feng J. Learning alters theta amplitude, theta- gamma coupling and neuronal synchronization in inferotemporal cortex. BMC Neurosci. 2011,12:55.
11. Zhan Y, Kendrick KM, and Feng J. Filtering Noise for Synchronised Activity in Multi-trial Electrophysiology Data using Wiener and Kalman filters. BioSystems.2009,96:1-13.
12. Zhan Y, Halliday D, Jiang P, Liu X and Feng J. Detecting time-dependent coherence between non-stationary electrophysiological signals-A combined statistical and time-frequency approach. J. Neurosci. Methods.2006,156: 322-332.