Yang Dan, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Yang Dan is a professor of neurobiology and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at University of California, Berkeley, where she has been a faculty member since 1997. She was a physics major at Beijing University and received her Ph.D. training in Biological Sciences at Columbia University, where she worked on cellular mechanisms of neurotransmitter secretion and synaptic plasticity with Mu-ming Poo. She did postdoctoral research on information coding in the visual system at Rockefeller University and Harvard Medical School with Clay Reid, Joseph Atick, and Torsten Wiesel. Dan has received the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Beckman Young Investigator Award, and Society for Neuroscience Research Awards for Innovation in Neuroscience. Using a combination of electrophysiology, imaging, and computational methods, Dan’s lab has provided important insights into the microcircuits underlying visual cortical computation and cellular mechanisms for functional plasticity. In particular, they revealed the functional consequences of spike-timing-dependent plasticity at multiple levels, from synapse to circuits to perception. Recent work has revealed the mechanisms by which neuromodulatory circuits exert powerful control of brain states and sensory processing.