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Z Yan Wang, Ph.D.

University of Washington


Z Yan Wang, PhD. is an incoming Assistant Professor of Psychology and Biology at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is a neuroscientist interested in the evolutionary and social dimensions of aging. She uses emerging invertebrate model systems, such as the bee and the octopus, to investigate how the nervous system organizes, encodes, and mediates end-of-life transitions and death. Her work uses multiple high-dimensional omics, behavioral, and molecular approaches to uncover fundamental rules about the aging nervous system. As a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University, she studies the impacts of social isolation on nervous system development and behavioral expression of bumblebees. She holds a PhD in neurobiology from the University of Chicago, where she characterized the neuroendocrine mechanisms of maternal behaviors and death in octopuses. To learn more about her lab, please visit

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