BiographyDr. Luo grew up in Shanghai, China, and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Science & Technology of China. After receiving his PhD at Brandeis University and postdoctoral training at UCSF, Dr. Luo started his own lab at Stanford University in 1996. Together with his postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, Dr. Luo studies the development and function of neural circuits in fruit flies and mice. Dr. Luo is currently the Ann and Bill Swindells Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Professor of Biology, and Professor of Neurobiology by courtesy at Stanford University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He teaches neurobiology to undergraduate and graduate students. His single-author textbook “Principles of Neurobiology” (Garland Science 2015; 2nd edition 2020) is widely used for undergraduate and graduate courses across the world.
Dr. Luo is a recipient of McKnight Technological Innovation in Neuroscience Award, the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, the Jacob Javits Award from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, HW Mossman Award from American Association of Anatomists, the Lawrence Katz Prize from Duke University, and the Pradel Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Luo is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
The human brain contains ~ 10^11 neurons, each making >10^3 synapses with other neurons on average. These 10^14 synaptic connections enable us to sense, think, remember, and act. How is this vast number of neurons organized into circuits to process information? How are these circuits correctly assembled during development? We use model neural circuits in the less numerically complex brains of the fruit fly (~10^5 neurons) and mouse (~10^8 neurons) and combine state-of-the-art molecular genetic and viral techniques with physiological and behavioral approaches to investigate these questions.
Over the past two decades, we have developed genetic tools to label and genetically manipulate individual or groups of neurons in flies and mice, which have facilitated our interrogation of mechanisms of neuronal morphogenesis, axon pruning, and wiring specificity of neural circuits during development. More recently, we have investigated anatomical organization and functional properties of neural circuits in adult animals.
Please visit http://web.stanford.edu/group/luolab for more information about our research.