October 2020 – Michael Krashes & Yulong Li

Tracking Behavior One Molecule At A Time

On October 6, 2020, we held our second virtual conversation with Dr. Michael Krashes and Dr. Yulong Li.

Dr. Krashes is a Section Chief at the NIDDK. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, his work focused on memory circuits and odor memory processing in Drosophila. His lab currently focuses on how the brain brings together information sensed from its external environment and its own internal states, including memory, to guide eating behavior (the study of neural circuits that guide the behavior of obtaining food).

Dr. Li is a Professor at the School of Life Sciences in Peking University. He received his Ph.D. at Duke University, where he utilized single molecule techniques to understand the role of specific proteins in neurotransmitter release. He then pursued a post-doc at Stanford University in the laboratory of Richard Tsien, where he developed a genetically-encoded pH probe to monitor activity-dependent release of neurotransmitters. His lab has expanded on his previous work and developed advanced imaging probes to untangle the exact chemical signals neurons are using to communicate. Dr. Li’s lab has used these probes to identify new receptors and neurotransmitters and characterize their role in specific neural circuits.