Faculty Directory

Hui Lu Hui Lu
Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology

Office Phone: 510-735-6729
Email: Email
Department: Pharmacology and Physiology


  • B.E. Computer Science, University of Science and Technology of China, 2000
  • B.S. Biological Science, University of Science and Technology of China, 2000
  • M.S., University of Science and Technology of China, 2003
  • Ph.D, University of California Berkeley, 2009


Neural computations depend on the propagation of signals through finely-tuned and precisely-wired circuit components in the brain. This conclusion has been reached by directly relating the dynamic function of neural circuits to sensory experience and behavior. It is a compelling hypothesis that genetic mutations which perturb cognition and behavior, such as those associated with autism, mediate their effects by disrupting these finely-tuned and precisely-wired circuits and thereby altering neural information processing. From this point of view, measuring how neural circuit function is altered in autism models provides a window into important principles of optimal neural circuit function. Equally important, a better understanding of the biological basis of autism will likely lead to better therapies for autism and other disorders of neural circuit function (“circuitopathies”).  

The long-term goal of Lu lab is to use state-of-the-art in vivo Ca2+ imaging technique, mouse genetics and optogenetics to characterize malfunction of the neural circuit in mouse models of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and to explore the possibility of intervention and rescue.

Currentlythe short-term goals are to 1) measure the cortical circuit function at single-cell resolution in vivo during social interaction and learning tasks using mouse models of ASD, 2)  characterize the abnormalities of neural circuit function in motor cortex that correlate with the development of movement deficits in mouse models of ASD.


View publications by this faculty member.

Hui Lu, Ryan T. Ash, Lingjie He, Sara E. Kee, Wei Wang, Dinghui Yu, Shuang Hao, Xiangling Meng, Kerstin Ure, Yaling Sun, Daoyun Ji, Jiangrong Tang, Benjamin R. Arenkiel, Stelios M. Smirnakis, and Huda Y. Zoghbi. (2016) Loss and gain of MeCP2 cause similar hippocampal circuit dysfunction that is rescued by deep brain stimulation in a Rett syndrome mouse model. Neuron. 91:739-747.

Kerstin Ure, Hui Lu, Ezequiel Sztainberg, Wei Wang and Huda Y. Zoghbi. (2016) Restoration of Mecp2 in GABAergic neurons alone is sufficient to rescue most phenotypes in a mouse model of Rett Syndrome. eLife, 5.

Xiangling Meng, Wei Wang, Hui Lu, Jose Herrera, Michelle Seymour, Marta Fiorotto, Jeffrey Neul, Frederick Pereira, Huda Zoghbi. (2016) Partially disabled glutamatergic neurons contribute to the pathology of RTT Mice: insights into neurological features driven by dysfunctional excitatory neurotransmission. eLife, 5.

Tandis Vazin, K. Aurelia Ball, Hui Lu, Hyungju Park, Yasaman Ataeijannati, Teresa Head-Gordon, Mu-ming Poo, David V. Schaffer. (2014) Efficient derivation of cortical glutamatergic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells: a model system to study neurotoxicity in Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Disease. 62:62-72

Hui Lu, Hyungju Park, and Mu-ming Poo. (2013) Spike Timing-dependent BDNF Secretion and Synaptic Plasticity. Proceeding of the Royal Society B: Biological Science. 369. 20130132

Kihoon Han, J. Lloyd Holder, Jr., Christian P. Schaaf, Hui Lu, Hongmei Chen, Hyojin Kang, Jianrong Tang, Zhenyu Wu, Shuang Hao, Sau Wai Cheung, Peng Yu, Hao Sun, Amy M. Breman, Ankita Patel, Hui-Chen Lu, Huda Y. Zoghbi. (2013) Mouse model of human SHANK3 duplication displays mania-like behavior with unique pharmacogenetic properties. Nature. 503:72-77.

Ye Li*, Hui Lu* (Co-first author), Pei-lin Cheng, Shaoyu Ge, Huatai Xu, Song-Hai Shi, Yang Dan. (2012) Clonally related visual cortical neurons show similar stimulus feature selectivity. Nature. 486:118-121.

Hui Lu, Pei-lin Cheng, Byung Kook Lim, Nina Khoshnevisrad, Mu-ming Poo. (2010) Elevated BDNF expression after cocaine withdrawal facilitates LTP in medial prefrontal cortex by suppressing GABA inhibition. Neuron. 67:821-833.

Pei-lin Cheng, Hui Lu, Maya Shelly, Hongfeng Gao, Mu-ming Poo. (2010) Phosphorylation of E3 Ligase Smurf1 Switches Its Substrate Preference in Support of Axon Development. Neuron. 69: 231-243.

Hui Lu, Byung Kook Lim, Mu-ming Poo. (2009) Cocaine exposure in utero alters synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex of postnatal rats. Journal of Neuroscience, 29:12664-12674.

Naoto Matsuda, Hui Lu, Yuko Fukata, Jun Noritake, Hongfeng Gao, Sujay Mukherjee, Tomomi Nemoto, Masaki Fukata, Mu-ming Poo. (2009) Differential activity-dependent secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor from axon and dendrite. Journal of Neuroscience, 29:14185-14198.

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None