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Chen, Lulu Y

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of California, Irvine
DepartmentAnatomy and Neurobiology
Address1001 Health Sciences Road
Irvine CA 92697-3950
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    California State University, Long Beach, CaliforniaBS12/2004Biological Science-Physiology
    University of California, Irvine, CaliforniaPhD12/2009Anatomy and Neurobiology
    Stanford University, Palo Alto, CaliforniaResearch Associate9/2018Neuroscience

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Synapses are the connections between neurons in a vast communicating network. The synapses have been proposed to be sites of information processing and memory storage, and their functional deficits the key to cognitive disorders and diseases. Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse development and functions in learning and memory. Not only is this area interesting and poorly understood, but it is critical to our understanding of cognitive disorders and mental disabilities. Our studies may ultimately lead to the discovery of treatments that improve the life quality of patients suffering from congenital syndromes (e.g. autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fragile X syndrome (FXS), schizophrenia (SCZ)) or cognitive problems associated with traumatic experience or aging.
    We aim to identify the key molecules and their signaling cascades involved in in synapse formation and functions in learning and memory and their deficits in various disease conditions. We are particularly interested in the activity-dependent signaling pathways underlying synaptic structural changes. We study different synapse types in the brain, how these synapses form, function, and been regulated. We take advantage of genetic and molecular approaches which enable accurately target the specific types of neurons/synapses located at specific brain regions (spatial control) at specific development window (temporal control) to ask that how the synapses are developmentally regulated and how this regulatory mechanism fail in the disordered brains.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Role of Neurexin in Synapse Formation and Maintenance
    NIH/NIMH F32MH100745May 1, 2013 - Apr 30, 2016
    Role: Principal Investigator
    BDNF/TrkB Regulates Actin Signaling with LTP
    NIH/NIMH F31MH083396Apr 16, 2008 - Apr 15, 2011
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Chen LY, Jiang M, Zhang B, Gokce O, Südhof TC. Conditional Deletion of All Neurexins Defines Diversity of Essential Synaptic Organizer Functions for Neurexins. Neuron. 2017 May 03; 94(3):611-625.e4. PMID: 28472659.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Jiang M, Polepalli J, Chen LY, Zhang B, Südhof TC, Malenka RC. Conditional ablation of neuroligin-1 in CA1 pyramidal neurons blocks LTP by a cell-autonomous NMDA receptor-independent mechanism. Mol Psychiatry. 2017 03; 22(3):375-383. PMID: 27217145.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Zhang B, Chen LY, Liu X, Maxeiner S, Lee SJ, Gokce O, Südhof TC. Neuroligins Sculpt Cerebellar Purkinje-Cell Circuits by Differential Control of Distinct Classes of Synapses. Neuron. 2015 Aug 19; 87(4):781-96. PMID: 26291161.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Seese RR, Chen LY, Cox CD, Schulz D, Babayan AH, Bunney WE, Henn FA, Gall CM, Lynch G. Synaptic abnormalities in the infralimbic cortex of a model of congenital depression. J Neurosci. 2013 Aug 14; 33(33):13441-8. PMID: 23946402; PMCID: PMC3742930.
    5. Babayan AH, Kramár EA, Barrett RM, Jafari M, Häettig J, Chen LY, Rex CS, Lauterborn JC, Wood MA, Gall CM, Lynch G. Integrin dynamics produce a delayed stage of long-term potentiation and memory consolidation. J Neurosci. 2012 Sep 12; 32(37):12854-61. PMID: 22973009; PMCID: PMC3752079.
    6. Chen LY, Rex CS, Pham DT, Lynch G, Gall CM. BDNF signaling during learning is regionally differentiated within hippocampus. J Neurosci. 2010 Nov 10; 30(45):15097-101. PMID: 21068315; PMCID: PMC3073526.
    7. Rex CS, Gavin CF, Rubio MD, Kramar EA, Chen LY, Jia Y, Huganir RL, Muzyczka N, Gall CM, Miller CA, Lynch G, Rumbaugh G. Myosin IIb regulates actin dynamics during synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Neuron. 2010 Aug 26; 67(4):603-17. PMID: 20797537; PMCID: PMC2929390.
    8. Chen LY, Rex CS, Babayan AH, Kramár EA, Lynch G, Gall CM, Lauterborn JC. Physiological activation of synaptic Rac>PAK (p-21 activated kinase) signaling is defective in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. J Neurosci. 2010 Aug 18; 30(33):10977-84. PMID: 20720104; PMCID: PMC2929244.
    9. Kramár EA, Chen LY, Lauterborn JC, Simmons DA, Gall CM, Lynch G. BDNF upregulation rescues synaptic plasticity in middle-aged ovariectomized rats. Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Apr; 33(4):708-19. PMID: 20674095; PMCID: PMC2978788.
    10. Chen LY, Rex CS, Sanaiha Y, Lynch G, Gall CM. Learning induces neurotrophin signaling at hippocampal synapses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 13; 107(15):7030-5. PMID: 20356829; PMCID: PMC2872439.
    11. Kramár EA, Chen LY, Brandon NJ, Rex CS, Liu F, Gall CM, Lynch G. Cytoskeletal changes underlie estrogen's acute effects on synaptic transmission and plasticity. J Neurosci. 2009 Oct 14; 29(41):12982-93. PMID: 19828812; PMCID: PMC2806054.
    12. Rex CS, Chen LY, Sharma A, Liu J, Babayan AH, Gall CM, Lynch G. Different Rho GTPase-dependent signaling pathways initiate sequential steps in the consolidation of long-term potentiation. J Cell Biol. 2009 Jul 13; 186(1):85-97. PMID: 19596849; PMCID: PMC2712993.
    13. Kramár EA, Chen LY, Rex CS, Gall CM, Lynch G. Estrogen's Place in the Family of Synaptic Modulators. Mol Cell Pharmacol. 2009 Jan 01; 1(5):258-262. PMID: 20419049.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Lynch G, Rex CS, Chen LY, Gall CM. The substrates of memory: defects, treatments, and enhancement. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 06; 585(1):2-13. PMID: 18374328; PMCID: PMC2427007.
    15. Lauterborn JC, Rex CS, Kramár E, Chen LY, Pandyarajan V, Lynch G, Gall CM. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor rescues synaptic plasticity in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. J Neurosci. 2007 Oct 03; 27(40):10685-94. PMID: 17913902.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Chen LY, Rex CS, Casale MS, Gall CM, Lynch G. Changes in synaptic morphology accompany actin signaling during LTP. J Neurosci. 2007 May 16; 27(20):5363-72. PMID: 17507558.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Rex CS, Lin CY, Kramár EA, Chen LY, Gall CM, Lynch G. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor promotes long-term potentiation-related cytoskeletal changes in adult hippocampus. J Neurosci. 2007 Mar 14; 27(11):3017-29. PMID: 17360925.
      View in: PubMed
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