Hailan Hu is Professor at School of Medicine at Zhejiang University. She received a BA in Biochemistry from Beijing University and a PhD in neuroscience from UC Berkeley. Before joining Zhejiang University, she was a principal investigator at the Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Her laboratory seeks to understand how emotional and social behaviors are encoded and regulated in the brain, with a main focus on the neural circuitry underlying depression and social dominance. Her team has identified the neural mechanism underlying the winner effect, by which individuals increase their chance of winning after previous victories. Her recent work has uncovered a new model to explain the etiology of depression and the rapid antidepressant actions of ketamine, involving NMDA receptor-dependent burst activity of lateral habenular neurons. Her work has led to the identification of several molecular targets (including T-type calcium channels, Kir4.1 channel and bCaMKII) for developing new antidepressant drugs.
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