Weizhe Hong, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor, Biological Chemistry


Member, Bioinformatics GPB Home Area

Neuroscience GPB Home Area

Awards and Honors:

2017 Searle Scholar Award

2017 Sloan Research Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

2016 NARSAD Young Investigator Award, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

2013 Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship

Contact Information



The Hong Lab employs a multidisciplinary approach to identify the molecular and neural circuit mechanisms underlying normal social behaviors as well as their dysregulations in neuropsychiatric disorders. Social behaviors are essential for the survival and reproduction of animals. The control of social behavior is of particular importance in social species such as humans. Abnormalities in social behaviors are associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia.  Despite its importance, many fundamental questions regarding social behavior and its disorders still remain unanswered. We aim to understand how social behavior is regulated at the molecular and circuit level and how social behavior and social experience lead to molecular and circuit level changes in the brain.

We study these questions across molecular, circuit, and behavioral levels, by linking genes to circuits to behaviors. To do that, we take a multi-disciplinary approach and utilize a variety of experimental and computational technologies, including but not limited to optogenetics/chemogenetics, in vivo/vitro calcium imaging and electrophysiology, various genetic and molecular biology techniques, systems approaches such as next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics, and engineering and computational approaches such as machine learning and computer vision.


Chen P, Hong W^   Neural Circuit Mechanisms of Social Behavior Neuron, 2018; 98(1): 16-30.
Wu YE, Pan L, Zuo Y, Li X, Hong W^   Detecting Activated Cell Populations Using Single-Cell RNA-Seq Neuron, 2017; 96(2): 313-329.e6.
Hong W^, Kennedy A, Burgos-Artizzu XP, Zelikowsky M, Navonne SG, Perona P^, Anderson DJ^   Automated measurement of mouse social behaviors using depth sensing, video tracking, and machine learning Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2015; 112(38): E5351-60.
Pearce MM, Spartz EJ, Hong W, Luo L, Kopito RR   Prion-like transmission of neuronal huntingtin aggregates to phagocytic glia in the Drosophila brain Nature communications, 2015; 6(38): 6768.
Hong W^, Luo L   Genetic control of wiring specificity in the fly olfactory system Genetics, 2014; 196(1): 17-29.
Hong W^   Science & SciLifeLab Prize. Assembly of a neural circuit Science, 2013; 342(6163): 1186.
Hong W*, Wu YE*, Fu X, Chang Z   Chaperone-dependent mechanisms for acid resistance in enteric bacteria Trends in microbiology, 2012; 20(7): 328-35.
Hong W, Mosca TJ, Luo L   Teneurins instruct synaptic partner matching in an olfactory map Nature, 2012; 484(7393): 201-7.
Mosca TJ*, Hong W*, Dani VS, Favaloro V, Luo L   Trans-synaptic Teneurin signalling in neuromuscular synapse organization and target choice Nature, 2012; 484(7393): 237-41.
de Wit J*, Hong W*, Luo L, Ghosh A   Role of leucine-rich repeat proteins in the development and function of neural circuits Annual review of cell and developmental biology, 2011; 27(7393): 697-729.
Hong W, Luo L   Dendritic tiling through TOR signalling The EMBO journal, 2009; 28(24): 3783-4.
Hong W, Zhu H, Potter CJ, Barsh G, Kuruzu M, Zinn K, Luo L   Leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins instruct discrete dendrite targeting in an olfactory map Nature Neuroscience, 2009; 12(12): 1542-50.
Wu YE*, Hong W*, Zhang L, Liu C, Chang Z   Conserved amphiphilic feature is essential for periplasmic chaperone HdeA to support acid resistance in enteric bacteria The Biochemical journal, 2008; 412(2): 389-97.
Jiao W, Hong W, Li P, Sun S, Ma J, Qian M, Hu M, Chang Z   The dramatically increased chaperone activity of small heat-shock protein IbpB is retained for an extended period of time after the stress condition is removed The Biochemical journal, 2008; 410(1): 63-70.
Hong W, Jiao W, Hu J, Zhang J, Liu C, Fu X, Shen D, Xia B, Chang Z   Periplasmic protein HdeA exhibits chaperone-like activity exclusively within stomach pH range by transforming into disordered conformation Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2005; 280(29): 27029-34.
Liu Y, Fu X, Shen J, Zhang H, Hong W, Chang Z   Periplasmic proteins of Escherichia coli are highly resistant to aggregation: reappraisal for roles of molecular chaperones in periplasm Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 2004; 316(3): 795-801.