Professor and Chair,
Dept. of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine
GRA Eminent Scholar Chair in Translational Neuroscience
School of Graduate Studies
Dept. of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine
1120 15th Street, Rm. CA3006
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Augusta, GA 30912
1993-1998 Ph.D. in Pharmacology, Washington State University, WA
1987-1990 M.Sc. in Biochemistry, Zhanjiang Medical College, China
1982-1987 M.D., Binzhou Medical College, China
1998-2001 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Mental Health Research Institute, Univ. of Michigan,
Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI.
Chronic stress, neurodegeneration, depression, synaptic plasticity, behavior
Research in our lab is focused on understanding molecular, cellular and epigenetic
mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Our on-going projects include 1) cellular mechanisms underlying chronic stress-accelerated
brain aging and neurodegeneration; 2) histone modifications during aging and in Alzheimer’s
disease (AD); 3) adipokine modulation of synaptic plasticity and cognitive behaviors;
4) role of inflammaging progression in neurodegeneration; and 5) hippocampal and hypothalamic
neurons in stress response and adaptation.
Xin-Yun Lu, MD,PhD - Professor
Yun Lei, PhD – Assistant Professor
Jacob Garza, PhD – Senior Research Scientist
Yuting Chen, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow
Brandy Somera, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Maryam Malek, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Florika Patel - Research Associate
Yu Bai – Research Associate
Shu Chen – Research Assistant
Kirstyn Denney – PhD Student
Jayvon Nougiasse - MD/PhD Student
Amin Karimi Moghaddam - PhD Student
Miskatul Mishu - PhD Student
Kelli Mitchell - GRA Student Scholar
Simon Miller - Medical Student
Jubin Mathew - Undergraduate Honors Program
Aditi Yellu, BS/MD Professional Scholars Program
Open Positions at Lu Lab:
We are currently welcoming postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduate
students to join our laboratory.
We seek postdoctoral fellows interested in studying Alzheimer’s disease, depression
and PTSD. The ideal candidates will hold a PhD in neuroscience, physiology, molecular/cell
biology, metabolic biology or neuropharmacology. Expertise in electrophysiology, transgenic
mouse models, epigenetics, imaging, and in vitro and in vivo adipose biology is desirable.
Candidates are expected to have good communication skills and have a strong drive
for building a successful research career.
We welcome graduate students and are interested in potential rotation students. Prospective
students can apply to our lab through the Graduate Program in Neuroscience as well
as through the MD/PhD Program.
We accept motivated undergraduate students who are interested in biomedical research.
- Ahmadieh S, Goo B, Zarzour A, Kim D, Shi H, Veerapaneni P, Chouhaita R, Yiew NKH,
Gonzalez CD, Chakravartty A, Pennoyer J, Hassan N, Benson TW, Ogbi M, Fulton DJ, Lee
R, Rice RD, Hilton LR, Lei Y, Lu XY, Chen W, Kim HW, Weintraub NL (2023). Impact of housing temperature on adipose tissue
HDAC9 expression and adipogenic differentiation in high fat fed mice. Obesity, in
- Kumro J, Tripathi A, Lei Y, Sword J, Callahan P, Terry A, Lu XY, Kirov S, Pillai A, Blake DT (2023). Chronic basal forebrain activation improves
spatial memory, boosts neurotrophin receptor expression, and lowers BACE1 and Aβ42
levels in the cerebral cortex in mice. Cereb Cortex. 2023 Jun 8;33(12):7627-7641.
- Xiang G, Liu X, Wang J, Lu S, Yu M, Zhang Y, Sun B, Huang B, Lu XY, Li X, Zhang D (2023). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α activation facilitates
contextual fear extinction and modulates intrinsic excitability of dentate gyrus neurons.
Transl Psychiatry. 2023 Jun 15;13(1):206. doi: 10.1038/s41398-023-02496-1.
- Fang X, Chen Y, Wang J, Zhang Z, Bai Y, Denney K, Gan L, Guo M, Weintraub NL, Lei
Y, Lu XY (2023). Increased intrinsic and synaptic excitability of hypothalamic POMC neurons
underlies chronic stress-induced behavioral deficits. Molecular Psychiatry 28(3):1365–1382.
Published: 06 December 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01872-5.
- Stranahan AM, Guo DH, Yamamoto M, Hernandez CM, Khodadadi H, Baban B, Zhi W, Lei Y, Lu XY, Ding K, Isales CM. (2023) Sex differences in adipose tissue distribution determine
susceptibility to neuroinflammation in mice with dietary obesity. Diabetes 72(2):245-260.
Published: 11 November 2022. doi: 10.2337/db22-0192.
- Saggu S, Chen Y, Wang H, Cottingham C, Zhang S, Augelli-Szafran C, Jiao K, Lu XY and Wang Q (2023). Activation of a novel α2AAR-spinophilin-cofilin axis determines
the effect of α2 adrenergic drugs on fear memory reconsolidation. Molecular Psychiatry
28(2): 588–600 2022. Published: 10 November 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01851-w.
- Lei Y, Wang D, Bai Y, Nougaisse J, Weintraub NL, Guo M, Lu XY (2022). Leptin enhances social motivation and reverses chronic unpredictable stress-induced
social anhedonia during adolescence. Molecular Psychiatry 27(12):4948-4958. Published:
22 September 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01778-2.
- Kim J, Lei Y, Lu XY, and Kim CS (202). Glucocorticoid-glucocorticoid receptor-HCN1 channels reduce neuronal
excitability in dorsal hippocampal CA1 neurons. Molecular Psychiatry 27(10):4035-4049.
Published: 5 July 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41380-022-01682-9. Online ahead of print.
- Miller B, McEvoy JP, McCall WV, Lu XY (2022). Lower adiponectin levels as a predictor of depressive symptoms in African-American
males with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research. 2022 Nov 18;250:134-136.
- Chin E, Ma Q, Ruan H, Chin C, Somasundaram A, Zhang C, Liu C, Lewis M, White MA, Smith
T, Battersby M, Yao WD, Lu XY, Arap W, Licinio J, Wong ML (2022). The epigenetic reader PHF21B modulates social
memory and synaptic plasticity-related genes in mice. JCI Insight. 2022 Jul 22;7(14):
e158081. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight. 158081
- Goo B, Ahmadieh S, Zarzour A, Yiew NKH, Kim D, Shi H, Greenway J, Cave S, JNguyen
J, Arbindi S, Wendolowski M, Veerapaneni P, Ogbi M, Chen W, Lei Y, Lu XY, Kim HW, Weintraub NL. Sex-dependent role of adipose tissue HDAC9 in diet-induced
obesity and metabolic dysfunction. Cells, 2022 Aug 30;11(17):2698. doi: 10.3390/cells11172698.
- Fang X, Jiang S, Wang J, Bai Y, Kim CS, Blake DT, Weintraub NL, Lei Y, Lu XY (2022). Chronic unpredictable stress induces depression-related behaviors via suppressing
AgRP neuron activity. Molecular Psychiatry. 26(6): 2299-2315. doi: 10.1038/s41380-020-01004-x.
Epub 2021 Jan 11. Selected as a "SPOTLIGHT" article by Trends in Neurosciences.
- Kim NS, Wen Z, Liu J, Zhou Y, Guo Z, Xu C, Lin YT, Yoon KJ, Park J, Cho M, Kim M,
Wang X, Yu H, Salamuru S, Christian KM, Hsu KS, Xia M, Li W, Ross CA, Margolis RL,
Lu XY#, Song H#, Ming GL# (2021). Pharmacological rescue in patient iPSC and mouse models with a rare DISC1
mutation. Nature Communications. 2021 Mar 3;12(1):1398. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21713-3.
- Wong ML, Arcos-Burgos M, Liu S, Licinio AW, Yu C, Chin EWM, Yao WD, Lu XY, Bornstein SR, Licinio J (2021) Rare Functional Variants Associated with Antidepressant
Remission in Mexican-Americans: Short title: Antidepressant remission and pharmacogenetics
in Mexican-Americans. Journal of Affective Disorders. 279:491-500. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2020.10.027.
Epub 2020 Oct 17.
- Li C, Meng F, Lei Y, Liu J, Liu J, Zhang J, Liu F, Liu C, Guo M, Lu XY (2020). Leptin regulates exon-specific transcription of the Bdnf gene via epigenetic
modifications mediated by an AKT/p300 HAT cascade.Molecular Psychiatry. 26(8):3701-3722. doi: 10.1038/s41380-020-00922-0. Epub 2020
- Li C, Meng F, Garza JC, Liu J, Lei Y, Kirov S, Guo M, Lu XY (2021). Modulation of depression-related behaviors by adiponectin AdipoR1 receptors
in 5-HT neurons. Molecular Psychiatry. 26(8):4205-4220. doi: 10.1038/s41380-020-0649-0.
Epub 2020 Jan 24
- Lei Y, Wang J, Wang D, Li C, Liu B, Fang X, You J, Guo M, Lu XY (2020). SIRT1 in forebrain excitatory neurons produces sexually dimorphic effects
on depression-related behaviors and modulates neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission
in the medial prefrontal cortex. Molecular Psychiatry. 25:1094-1111. doi: 10.1038/s41380-019-0352-1. Epub 2019 Jan
- Yiew NKH, Greenway C, Zarzour A, Ahmadieh S, Goo B, Kim D, Benson TW, Ogbi M, Tang
YL, Chen W, Stepp D, Patel V, Hilton R, Lu XY, Hui DY, Kim HW, Weintraub NL (2019). Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) regulates
adipocyte lipid metabolism independent of adipogenic differentiation: Role of apolipoprotein
E. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294(21):8577-8591.
- Sun F, Lei Y, You J, Li C, Sun L, Garza J, Zhang D, Guo M, Scherer P, Lodge D, Lu XY (2019). Adiponectin modulates ventral tegmental area dopamine neuron activity and
anxiety-related behavior through AdipoR1. Molecular Psychiatry, 24(1):126-144.