Fan Lab

How does the brain support learning and memory?
Identify the learning rules and the synaptic basis of memory



The ability of the brain to learn from and remember experiences lies at the heart of our existence and individuality.  Disorders of memory represent a huge challenge to society.  The goal of our lab is to decipher the neural codes underlying learning and memory and to identify the physical basis of learning and memory.  Our main questions are:

1. What are the learning rules of brain circuits? For instance, what kinds of activity trigger the encoding and storage of information?

2. How are the learning rules implemented? For instance, where is the information stored?

3. Ultimately can we infer the memories from mapping the neural functional connectivity patterns?


Addressing these questions requires understanding the language the brain uses to speak to itself, the little electrical impulses of neurons.  We have worked on developing and applying high-precision all-optical technologies for simultaneously mapping and controlling membrane potential in specific neurons within the intact brain.  We continue to develop and apply these cutting-edge technologies and integrate them with behavioral, molecular, and computational approaches to understand how the brain encodes, stores, and recalls information.


Welcome Kailong and Navid (2024-04)

Kailong Wen from the University of Chicago joins us as a new postdoc.  Navid Ghazi from UCSD joins us as a new technical associate.  Welcome both!

First graduate student (2024-04)

Adrienne officially joins the lab.  Hooray!

New rotation student (2024-02)

Evan Ruesch from the BCS program signed on for a rotation.  Welcome Evan!

New paper on inhibitory synaptic plasticity accepted to Science (2024-01)


Welcome to Xiaoyi and Adrienne (2024-01)

Xiaoyi Wang from Imperial College London joins the team as our first postdoctoral scholar.  Adrienne Kashay from the BCS program joins us for a rotation.  Welcome both!

Lab launched (2024-01)

The lab launched on January 16, 2024.

New faces (2023-12)

Kyucheol Min and Susan Hong joined us as freshmen.  Welcome both!

Poster and Star Mentor award (2023-09-01)

Celestine presented a poster at the Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program symposium and Linlin received the Star Mentor award.  Nice work!

Tri-Lab Neuroscience Jamboree (2023-07-21)

We had the first ever Tri-lab Neuroscience Jamboree between our lab, Longzhi Tan’s lab at Stanford, and Ritchie Chen’s lab at UCSF.  Check out the photos.  Looking forward to the next one!

BWF CASI award (2023-06-12)

Linlin received the Career Award at the Scientific Interface from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.  Thanks, BWF!

Join us?

We are always looking for passionate people to join us.
We are committed to mentoring the next generation of scientists.