Both food and psychoactive substances, such as alcohol and drugs, exhibit powerful rewarding properties. However, excessive food intake and substance abuse can have severe health consequences, including obesity and drug dependence. Our team is committed to investigating the neural mechanisms that underlie the rewarding effects of food and psychoactive substances. Through the utilization of advanced experimental techniques, we strive to unravel the intricate neural circuits and molecular mechanisms involved in food and drug reward. Our ultimate objective is to discover innovative strategies for clinical interventions.
2023-present: Associate Investigators, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, CAS
2022-2023: Assistant Investigators, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, CAS
2019-2022: Postdoc Fellow, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, CAS
2014-2019: Ph.D. Student, Institute of Biophysics, CAS
2010-2014: B.S, Hunan Normal University
- Chen, Zijun; Chen, Gaowei; Zhong, Jiafeng; Jiang, Shaolei; Lai, Shishi; Xu, Hua; Deng, Xiaofei; Li, Fengling ;Lu, Shanshan; Zhou, Kuikui; Li, Changlin; Liu, Zhongdong; Zhang, Xu; Zhu, Yingjie. A circuit from lateral septum neurotensin neurons to tuberal nucleus controls hedonic feeding. Molecular Psychiatry, 2022.
- Shang Congping; Chen Zijun#; Liu Aixue; Li Yang; Zhang Jiajing; Qu Baole; Yan Fei; Zhang Yaning; Liu Weixiu; Liu Zhihui; Guo Xiaofei; Li Dapeng; Wang Yi; Cao Peng. Divergent midbrain circuits orchestrate escape and freezing responses to looming stimuli in mice. Nature Communications, 2018.
- Chen, Gaowei#; Chen, Zijun#; Zhu, Yingjie. How the brain processes negative emotions. eLife, 2022.
- Xu, Yun-Long#; Zhu, Lin#; Chen, Zi-Jun#; Deng, Xiao-Fei; Liu, Pei-Dong; Li, Shan; Lin, Bing-Chun; Yang, Chuan-Zhong; Xu, Wei; Zhou, Kui-Kui; Zhu, Ying-Jie. Release of Endogenous Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor into the Lateral Entorhinal Cortex from the Paraventricular Thalamus Ameliorates Social Memory Deficits in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease. Neuroscience Bulletin, 2022.
- Keyes, Piper C.; Adams, Eliza L.; Chen, Zijun; Bi, Linlin; Nachtrab, Gregory; Wang, Vickie J.; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc;Zhu, Yingjie; Chen, Xiaoke. Orchestrating Opiate-Associated Memories in Thalamic Circuits. Neuron, 2020.
- Shang, Congping#; Liu, Aixue#; Li, Dapeng#; Xie, Zhiyong#; Chen, Zijun; Huang, Meizhu; Li, Yang; Wang, Yi; Shen, Wei L.; Cao, Peng. A subcortical excitatory circuit for sensory-triggered predatory hunting in mice. Nature Neuroscience, 2019.
- Liu Zhihui; Chen Zijun; Shang Congping; Yan Fei; Shi Yingchao; Zhang Jiajing; Qu Baole; Han Hailin; Wang Yanying; Li Dapeng; Udhof Thomas C S; Cao Peng. IGF1-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity of Mitral Cells in Olfactory Memory during Social Learning. Neuron, 2017.
- Shang Congping; Liu Zhihui; Chen Zijun; Shi Yingchao; Wang Qian; Liu Su; Li Dapeng; Cao Peng. A parvalbumin-positive excitatory visual pathway to trigger fear responses in mice. Science, 2015.