Wenzhi Sun Research Associate Professor


InstituteiHuman Institute
Research AreaVisual Neuroscience and Applied Optical Imaging
Contactsunwzh@shanghaitech.edu.cn    Webpage

B.A. Marine Biology, Ocean University of China, 1999
Ph.D. Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2004
Postdoc Fellow, Neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley, 2010
Associate Research Scientist, Neurobiology & Genetics, Jackson Laboratory, 2012
Research Specialist, Neuroscience & Applied Optics, HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus, 2016
Associate Research Professor & Assistant Professor, ShanghaiTech University, 2016 – present
helix2Research Interests
How we make sense of the visual world around us is an intriguing question. The answer to this question relies on our understanding of the complex visual system, which involves 40% of neurons and covers more than 30 different areas in our brain. The visual system is able to process the enormous information within the photons flying into our eyes. It groups millions of visible “pixels” into lines, edges, contours, shapes, and ultimately objects and scenes. To understand how visual system works, it is critical to identify its every composing neurons and further characterize the patterns of the synaptic connections among these neurons. Our lab uses optical imaging, visual research, and computational neuroscience to provide a new insight into understanding the general principles of cortical computation and its relationship with animal behaviors. Our studies are focused on (1) To understand the information transformation from thalamus to cortex; (2) To determine the information coding and processing in superior colliculus, and (3) To develop new optical imaging technique to push its application in new brain areas.
bookSelected Publications

1. R Lu, W Sun, Y Liang, A Kerlin, J Bierfeld, J Seelig, DE Wilson, B Scholl, Mohar B, Tanimoto M,  Koyama M, Fitzpatrick D,Orger MB, Ji N (2016),Video-rate volumetric functional imaging of the brain at synaptic resolution. bioRxiv, 058495.

2. Sun W, Tan Z, Mensh BD & Ji N (2016), Thalamus provides layer 4 of primary visual cortex with tuned inputs. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 308-315. (Highlighted by HHMI Research News https://www.hhmi.org/news/adaptive-optics-helps-reveal-what-eyes-tell-brain)

3. Tan Z, Sun W, Chen TW, Kim D & Ji N (2015) Stimulus Feature Selectivity for Ultraviolet Light in Mouse Primary Visual Cortex.  Scientific Reports, 5: 12597. doi: 10.1038/srep12597.

4. Wang K*, Sun W*, Richie CT, Harvey BK, Betzig E & Ji N (2015), Direct wavefront sensing for high-resolution in vivo imaging in scattering tissue. Nature Communications, 6:7276. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8276. (* Co-first-author)

5. Wang C, Liu R, Milkie DE, Sun W , Tan Z, Kerlin A, Chen TW, Kim DS & Ji N (2014) Multiplexed aberration measurement for deep tissue imaging in vivo. Nature Methods, 11: 1037–1040.

6. Sun W, Wagnon JL, Mahaffey CL, Briese M, Ule J & Frankel WN (2013) Aberrant Sodium Channel Activity in the Complex Seizure Disorder of Celf4 Mutant Mice. Journal of Physiology, 591:241-255, (Highlighted in Future Neurology, 8(3):255-257, DOI 10.2217/fnl.13.13)

7. Wagnon JL, Briese M, Sun W, Mahaffey CL, Li Y, Curk Y, Rot G, Lin D, Ule J & Frankel WN (2012) CELF4 regulates translation and local abundance of a vast set of mRNAs, including genes associated with regulation of synaptic function. PLoS Genetics, 8 (11), e1003067.

8. Wagnon JL, Mahaffey CL, Sun W, Yang Y, Chao HT & Frankel WN (2011) Etiology of a Genetically Complex Seizure Disorder in Celf4 Mutant Mice. Gene, Brain and Behavior, 10:765-777.

9. Sun W & Dan, Y (2009) Layer-Specific Network Oscillation and spatiotemporal Receptive Field in the Visual Cortex, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106:17986-17991.

10. Sun W*, Deng Q* & He S (2006), ON direction-selective ganglion cells in the mouse retina. Journal of Physiology, 576:197-202. (* Co-first-author)

11. Weng S, Sun W & He S (2005) Identification of ON-OFF direction-selective ganglion cells in the mouse retina. Journal of Physiology, 562: 915 – 923.

12. Diao L, Sun, W Deng Q & He S (2004) Development of the mouse retina: emerging morphological diversity of the ganglion cells. Journal of Neurobiology, 61: 236-249.

13. Dong W, Sun W, Zhang Y, Chen X & He S (2004) Dendritic relationship between starburst amacrine cells and direction-selective ganglion cells in the rabbit retina. Journal of Physiology, 556: 11-17.

14. He S, Dong W, Deng Q, Weng S & Sun W (2003) Seeing More Clearly: Recent Advances in Understanding Retinal Circuitry. Science, 302:408-411. (Review)

15. Sun W, Li N & He S (2002) Large-scale morphological survey of rat retinal ganglion cells. Visual Neuroscience, 19:483-493.

16. Sun W, Li N & He S (2002) Large-scale morphological survey of mouse retinal ganglion cells. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 451:115-126.