Yi SUN, Ph.D.
School of Life Sciences
Lab of Systems Neuroscience & Neuroengineering
Progress in science depends on techniques, new discoveries and new ideas, probably in that order. - Sydney Brenner
Yi Sun studied Mechanical Engineering and Automation in Beihang University (BUAA), and got his PhD in Physical Chemistry from Chinese Academy of Sciences. He did postdoctoral research in Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus, working on developing calcium imaging technologies and studying neural information processing. Yi then joined Westlake University as a Principal Investigator and established the Lab of Systems Neuroscience and Neuroengineering.
Animals including humans effortlessly navigate their social environment, a remarkable feat that artificial intelligence systems are striving to achieve. Our lab is focusing on understanding the neural basis for cognitive functions during social behavior, with an emphasis on recognition and decision making. Specifically, how animals combine past experience to form internal models of self and others, how they update such models under current settings, how they utilize the models for determining the best course of action during social interactions, and how these computations are performed by neuronal circuits.
Using a combination of approaches including two-photon in-vivo functional imaging and stimulation, quantitative behavior, circuit analysis and electrophysiology, guided by theoretical hypotheses and aided by quantitative analysis, we aim to decipher the fundamental neural principles of social cognition by dissecting the genetic model Drosophila. We also develop and apply the latest technologies in imaging and behavior to help our studies.
1. Dana H*, Sun Y*, Mohar B*, Hulse B*, Kerlin A, Hasseman J, Tsegaye G, Tsang A, Wong A, Patel R, Macklin J, Chen Y, Konnerth A, Jayaraman V, Looger L, Schreiter E, Svoboda K, Kim D, High-performance calcium sensors for imaging activity in neuronal populations and microcompartments, Nature Methods, 16(7): 649-657, 2019 (*equal contribution).
2. Sun Y, Nern A, Franconville R, Dana H, Schreiter E, Looger L, Svoboda K, Kim D, Hermundstad A, Jayaraman V, Neural signatures of dynamic stimulus selection in Drosophila, Nature Neuroscience, 20(8): 1104-1113, 2017 (cover highlighted).
3. Fosque B*, Sun Y*, Dana H*, Yang C, Ohyama T, Tadross M, Patel R, Zlatic M, Kim D, Ahrens M, Jayaraman V, Looger LL, Schreiter E, Labeling of active neural circuits in vivo with designed calcium integrators, Science, 347(6223): 755–60, 2015 (*equal contribution).
4. Dana H, Mohar B, Sun Y, Narayan S, Gordus A, Hasseman J, Tsegaye G, Holt G, Patel R, Macklin J, Bargmann C, Ahrens M, Schreiter E, Jayaraman V, Looger L, Svoboda K, Kim D, Sensitive red protein calcium indicators for imaging neural activity, eLife, 5: e12727, 2016 (lead author on Drosophila part).
5. Chen T, Wardill T, Sun Y, Pulver S, Renninger S, Baohan A, Schreiter E, Kerr R, Orger M, Jayaraman V, Looger L, Svoboda K, Kim D, Ultrasensitive fluorescent proteins for imaging neuronal activity, Nature, 499 (7458): 295-300, 2013 (lead author on Drosophila part).