Li I Zhang

Professor in Physiology & Neuroscience, and
Director, Center for Neural Circuits & Sensory
Processing Disorder
Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California

Li I Zhang

Research Topics

  • Synaptic circuitry mechanisms for sensory information processing
  • Technical innovations for tracing brain circuits
  • Neural circuits for innate behavior
  • Synaptic and cellular basis for development and plasticity of neural circuitry
  • Neural circuitry basis for sensory processing disorders

Research Images

Research Overview

As a systems neuroscientist, our ultimate research goal is to decipher the brain circuits, and to understand how perception and behaviors are generated and controlled, how neural circuitry adapts in response to changes in the dynamic external environment, and how specific changes in brain circuits result in neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Technical innovation is the key for exploring the dauntingly complex brain circuits. In the past years, we have committed substantial efforts in developing molecular/genetic and electrophysiological/imaging techniques for elucidating the neural circuits for both local circuits of computation and for long-range pathways controlling animal emotion and behavior. We have integrated a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art approaches, including in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, two-photon Ca2+ imaging, neural modeling, anatomical tracing and opto-/chemo-gentics, to build an understanding of neural circuits.

Undergraduate, predoctoral, and postdoctoral fellows are all welcome to join our inspiring research program

Contact Information

Mailing Address 1501 San Pablo Street
ZNI 431
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Office Location ZNI 431
Office Phone (323) 442-4347
Lab Location ZNI406 & ZNI419
Lab Phone 323-442-4352
Office Location ZNI 431



  • Postdoc, University of California, San Francisco 2004
  • PhD, University of California, San Diego, 2000
  • MA, Columbia University, 1996
  • BS, Peking University, China, 1994

Selected Publications

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