Prof. Zhi-Yong Shao

Principal Investigator

Research Directions
The molecular mechanisms underlying the development and function of glia and synapses
Contact  Information
Address: Room B4015, Scientific Research Building 2, Institutes of Brain Science, Fudan University, 131 Dong An Rd, Shanghai China 200032 
Tel: 021-54237762   Email:shaozy@fudan.edu.cn

Dr. Zhiyong Shao received his Ph.D. degree in Genetics from Iowa State University in 2010. From 2010 to 2014, he was trained as a postdoc in Dr. Daniel Colón-Ramos laboratory at Yale School of Medicine. He joined the institutes of brain science in Fudan University in 2014.


Research Work
Behaviors (of human or the nematode C. elegans) are controlled by neuronal circuits. To form functional circuits, neurons have to synapse onto specific target cells at specific subcellular compartment. How is the specificity formed during early development stage and maintained later on? What is the role of the glia during synaptic formation? To address those questions, we choose the nematode C. elegans as a model system. We choose C. elegans because it has a simple nervous system. C. elegans has only 302 neurons, and about 7000 synapses. The entire connectome has been mapped with electron microscope. The animals are optical transparent, it is easy to label cells or subcellular structures with florescent proteins and to do optogenetics. Furthermore, it is an excellent genetic system. Most importantly, many genes and signal pathways identified in C. elegans are evolutionally conserved. Therefore, we can identify and address general molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopment with this simple model. 

Enrollment Major

Selected Publications

1. Wang M, Witvliet D, Wu M, Kang L, Shao Z* (2021). Temperature regulates synaptic subcellular specificity mediated by inhibitory glutamate signaling. PLoS Genet. 17(1):e1009295

2. Fan J#, Ji T#, Wang K#, Huang J, Wang M, Manning L, Dong X, Shi Y, Zhang X, Shao Z*, Colón-Ramos DA*.(2020). A muscle-epidermis-glia signaling axis sustains synaptic specificity during allometric growth in Caenorhabditis elegans. Elife. 9: e55890

3. Dong X, Jin S, Shao Z*(2020). Glia Promote Synaptogenesis through an IQGAP PES-7 in C. elegans. Cell Rep. 30(8):2614-2626.e2

4. Shi Y, Li Q, Shao Z*(2018). Wnts Promote Synaptic Assembly Through T-Cell Specific Transcription Factors in Caenorhabditis elegans. Front Mol Neurosci. 11:194

5. Shao Z, Watanabe S, Christensen R, Jorgensen EM, Colón-Ramos DA* (2013). Synapse location during growth depends on glia location. Cell. 154: 337–350

138 Yixueyuan Road, Shanghai 200032, China; Tel:021-54237641   

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