Lead Investigator Bio

Chu Laboratory
Hong-Yuan Chu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Center for Neurodegenerative Science
Email Dr. Chu

Areas of expertise: Synaptic physiology, neural plasticity, excitotoxicity, neuromodulation, neural circuitry, electrophysiology, optogenetics, chemogenetics, neurodegenerative diseases models


Dr. Hong-Yuan Chu earned his B.S. in medicine from Ocean University of China followed by his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica. He then completed postdoctoral fellowships in the labs of Dr. Alexei Morozov at the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health and Dr. Mark Bevan at Northwestern University before accepting a research assistant professor position at Northwestern. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, his work has significantly broadened the field’s understanding of how and why loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain leads to cardinal motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Specifically, his research has uncovered a series of synaptic and cellular plasticity events in the brain triggered by loss of midbrain dopamine-producing neurons, which ultimately mediates parkinsonian motor symptoms. In 2019, he joined Van Andel Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science as an assistant professor.

Dr. Chu has earned several honors, including the 2012 Fellows Award for Research Excellence from the National Institutes of Health, first place poster from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Udall Centers Meeting in 2016 and first place poster from The 50th Winter Conference on Brain Research in 2017. He also serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Neuroscience Research, Brain Research, Neuroreport and PLoS One.

Society memberships

International Basal Ganglia Society
American Society for Neuroscience