Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Ming Lab


Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Neuronal Development and Mental Disorders

Research in Dr. Guo-li Ming's laboratory centers on understanding molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopment and how its dysregulation may contribute to developmental neurological disorders. The lab uses a combination of experimental approaches that include molecular biology, biochemistry, mouse genetics, imaging, electrophysiology, electron microscopy, optogenetic manipulations, next generation sequencing, and behavioral tests to study neural development. We have been using two complementary model systems, the genetically modified mouse system and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) model systems. We are interested in addressing a broad range of topics, from neuronal migration, axon and dendritic development, synapse formation, circuitry integration to plasticity of developing neurons, and functional regeneration of mature neurons.

Open Positions

If you are enthusiastic about stem cell and neuroscience research and interested in joining as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Graduate Student or Undergraduate Student, please contact us about opportunities within our lab.


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Dr. Ming has been elected as a 2022 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, alongside seven other University of Pennsylvania faculty, pictured below! Penn Today writes: Since 1874, AAAS, a scientific society aimed at advancing science, engineering, and innovation “throughout the world for the benefit of all,” has annually named a class of fellows. This year, the work spans 24 scientific disciplines. Access the full article here.

January 2023

Cold Spring Harbor Lab

Thank you to everyone who attended the 3rd CSHL conference on human neural development and 3D modeling in organoids. Check out #cshlbrain Tweets for highlights of this year's event.


December 2022


Check out Dr. Song's new Wikipedia page!


November 2022

University of Zurich Foundation

Congratulations to lab alum Fadi Jacob, MD, PhD on receiving the UZH Foundation Brain Diseases Award for his glioblastoma organoid model!


November 2022


Check out Dr. Ming's new Wikipedia page!


September 2022

University of Pennsylvania

Congratulations to our postdoc Yi "Joey" Zhou, PhD and Joel Rurik of Jonathan Epstein's lab for receiving the 2022 Kaushal Family Awards in Genetics, which recognizes excellence in genetic research through publication by a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow.


September 2022

Columbia University

Best of luck to our former lab tech Alan Garcia as he pursues medical school at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. Way to go, Alan!


August 2022

Mount Sinai

We are excited for senior postdoc Allison Bond, PhD to start her own lab at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The lab will broadly study hippocampal development with a focus on the dynamic properties of dentate gyrus neural stem cells across the lifespan. Congratulations, Allison!

Coming soon, April 2023

Penn Medicine

Discovery of Molecular Signatures of Immature Neurons in The Human Brain Throughout Life Provide New Insights into Brain Plasticity and Other Functions, According to Penn Medicine Researchers.

July 18, 2022

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Congratulations to Drs. Hongjun Song and Brian Litt of Perelman School of Medicine for receiving the Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship!

Landis Award

July 2022

University of Pennsylvania

Congratulations to Jeriel Dumeng Rodriguez, M.S. on completing his master's and pursuing law school!

May 2022


A big congratulations to our former student Dr. Xuyu Qian, PhD for recognition in Forbes' 2022 Class of 30 Under 30!


December 2021

Johns Hopkins University

Congratulations to the new Dr. Dennisse Jimenez-Cyrus, PhD on her graduation!

August 2021

Perelman School of Medicine

Congratulations to Dan Zhang, PhD for completing his thesis defense!

July 2021

Johns Hopkins University

Congratulations to the new Dr. Wei-Kai Huang, PhD for his great thesis defense, and Dr. Zheng Wong, PhD for completing his thesis!

December 2020

National Academy of Medicine

Congratulations to Hongjun Song on his election into the National Academy of Medicine!

October 2020

Johns Hopkins University

Congratulations to the new Dr. Fadi Jacob, PhD on his thesis defense!

September 2020

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

We are proud to announce that our Lab Manager, Jordan Schnoll, who has been with the lab since our establishment at Penn, will move on to medical school in New York City this fall! We wish her the best of luck.

July 2020

Perelman School of Medicine

Congratulations to Phuong Nguyen, a PhD student in the lab, for receiving the Blavatnik Family Fellowship Award in Biomedical Research for the 2020-2021 academic year!

July 2020

National Institutes of Health

Congratulations to Allison Bond, PhD, a Research Associate in the lab, for a perfect score on her K01 Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award application!

June 2020

Society for Neuro-Oncology

Congratulations to Dan Zhang, an MD/PhD student in the lab, for winning an award for his poster on glioblastoma organoids.

November 2019

Johns Hopkins University

Congratulations to Xuyu Qian for completing his thesis defense!

November 2019

New York Stem Cell Foundation

Congratulations to Xuyu Qian, a PhD student in the lab, for an exciting talk on sliced neocortical organoids for modeling distinct cortical neuronal layer formation.

October 2019

New York Stem Cell Foundation

Congratulations to Fadi Jacob, an MD/PhD student in the lab, for winning an award for his poster entitled: A patient-derived glioblastoma organoid model and biobank recapitulates inter- and intra-tumoral heterogeneity.

October 2019

National Academy of Medicine

Dr. Guo-li Ming has been elected to National Academy of Medicine!

October 2019

University of Pennsylvania

Congratulations to Dan Zhang, an MD/PhD student in the lab, for being selected as a Blavatnik Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year through the Biomedical Graduate Studies program at Penn!

July 2019

University of California, San Francisco

We are excited to announce that Caroline Vissers, a graduate student in the lab, will be starting her own lab at UCSF in February of 2020! Her lab will study molecular regulation of the epitranscriptome with applications in neural development and disease.

July 2019

Lasker Foundation

Congratulations to Caroline Vissers for being a winner of the 2018 Lasker Foundation Essay Contest!

June 27, 2018

Graduate student, Caroline Vissers, received a fellowship from the Grass Foundation. She will conduct independent research at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, this summer.

January 13, 2018


"Neuroscientist Guo-li Ming’s pioneering work with brain organoids led to an early discovery of the link between Zika and microcephaly, which is changing our understanding of disease and potential treatment."

November 3, 2017

Guo-li Ming, Hongjun Song, and Kimberly Christian received National Institute of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Director's Awards in recognition for collaboration towards the identification of new therapeutics for the treatment of Zika virus infection in October of 2017.

Penn Medicine

Guo-li Ming, MD, PhD, and Hongjun Song, PhD, Appointed Professors of Neuroscience by Penn Medicine

March 09, 2017

National Institutes of Health

NIH initiates pilot grant program for innovative neurological research

January 26, 2017

The New York Times

A Race to Unravel the Secrets of the Zika Virus

May 09, 2016


Student invention grows hundreds of 'mini-brains' at once

May 02, 2016

The Scientist

Mini Brains Model Zika Infection

April 22, 2016

The Hub at Johns Hopkins University

Zika virus kills cells involved in fetal brain development, study shows

March 04, 2016