Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Song Lab

Neurons in the hippocampus

Current Personnel

Lab Picture



Faculty

Hongjun Song, PhD

Hongjun Song, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience
 shongjun@pennmedicine.upenn.edu


Guo-li Ming, MD, PhD

Guo-li Ming, MD, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience
 gming@pennmedicine.upenn.edu


Kimberly Christian, PhD

Kimberly Christian, PhD
Research Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
 kchristi@pennmedicine.upenn.edu



Staff

Brian Temsamrit, BS

Brian Temsamrit, BS
Lab Technician
 Brian.Temsamrit@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I graduated from the University of the Sciences in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience. I have a background in research observing the prion like transfer of aggregation in drosophila brains and looking at the relationship between pain and decision making. Currently, I'm exploring the different topics involved in neuroscience research with hopes of pursuing an advance degree in the future. Outside of research I enjoy skate boarding and long romantic walks to the fridge.


Emma LaNoce, BS

Emma LaNoce, BS
Lab Technician
 Emma.Lanoce@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in December of 2018 with a B.S. in biology and minors in chemistry and sociology. At Pitt, I researched olfactory navigation patterns of mice to determine the feasibility of creating artificial intelligence based on similar mechanisms. Currently, I am assisting with the lab’s research on human brain development and neurological disorders using brain organoids. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy hiking, cooking, and spending too much money on my house plants.



Research Associates

Allison Bond, PhD

Allison Bond, PhD
 ambond1@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I am interested in understanding how adult stem cells retain the capacity to generate new mature cell types throughout the life of an organism. My research in the lab focuses on adult neural stem cells in the hippocampus, and investigates the role of quiescence in maintaining the adult stem cell pool.


Daniel Berg, PhD

Daniel Berg, PhD
 daberg@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I am passionate about vertebrate regenerative neuroscience and am currently working on different subtypes of neural stem cells in the mouse dentate gyrus. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music of the late renaissance/early baroque period while drinking cheap gin. I also like exploring the mountains in my home country, Sweden, usually on pair of cross-country skis, and climbing in the Highlands of Scotland. 


Eunchai Kang, PhD

Eunchai Kang, PhD
 keunchai@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

My research investigates the molecular and circuitry mechanisms behind the etiology and pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders using adult hippocampal neurogenesis and human brain organoids.


Tong Ma, PhD

Tong Ma, PhD
 tongma@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I joined the lab after finishing my PhD in neuroscience at Fudan University in China. My doctoral work focused on the origin and development of cortical interneurons in mice and primates. My primary research interest is investigating molecular and cellular mechanisms of hypothalamic development.


Yijing Su, PhD

Yijing Su, PhD
 yijingsu@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

My research focuses on understanding epigenetic changes during neuronal activation and its role in neuronal function in both population and single cell levels.



Postdoctoral Fellows

Douglas GoodSmith, PhD

Douglas GoodSmith, PhD
 dgoodsm1@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

All hippocampal subfields contain "place cells," cells that fire only when an animal is in a specific location within an environment, but the firing of cells in the dentate gyrus is relatively understudied compared to CA1 and CA3 cells. In addition, the dentate contains multiple excitatory cell types, and new cells are added throughout life. Using electrophysiological and optogenetic techniques, I study the firing properties of these distinct cell populations in awake behaving animals.


Feng Zhang, PhD

Feng Zhang, PhD
 feng.zhang@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I am a new postdoc here, and I am trying to discover something new and interesting in neuroscience.


Sang Hoon Kim, PhD

Sang Hoon Kim, PhD
 skim1@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

My current research focus is to investigate the functional role of adult neurogenesis in hippocampus. By combining optogenetics with in vivo extracelluar recording, I have been characterizing spatial selectivity and remapping properties of newborn neurons. I am also interested in understanding how the continuous birth and integration of new cohorts of neurons affect the dynamic properties of local circuitry.


Stephanie Jimenez Temme, PhD

Stephanie Jimenez Temme, PhD
 stemme@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I joined the lab in the fall of 2015. My current projects investigate the behavioral and network level contribution of adult born cells in the dentate gyrus. My project utilizes in vivo and slice electrophysiology, as well as a background in behavioral neuroscience.


Ting Zhao, PhD

Ting Zhao, PhD
 tzhao5@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I am not only interested in using iPSCs to model neurological disorders, but also interested in employing new techniques for the proteomics study. When I am free, I like watching movies and hiking with my wife. I enjoy life in Philadelphia, where a lot of fancy Chinese restaurants are located.



Wenqiang Fan, PhD

Wenqiang Fan, PhD
 wenqiang.fan@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I did my PhD in Benedikt Berninger's lab in the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. I was working on the molecular mechanisms of regulating quiescence and activation of adult NSCs in the mouse DG for my PhD project. During my postdoc, I may employ live imaging techniques to investigate the development of the DG in the mouse. In my spare time, I like traveling, hiking and camping with my wife.



Yan Hong, PhD

Yan Hong, PhD
 yhong31@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I am interested in modeling human neurological disorders using iPSC models to unveil the molecular pathways and mechanisms underlying these disorders. In my spare time, I love watching movies with my husband. I also enjoy cooking, which helps me relax and provides a good way to gather around a table with family and friends.


Yi (Joey) Zhou, PhD

Yi (Joey) Zhou, PhD
 yzhou1@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I am a productive neuroscientist from Johns Hopkins Medical School. I have performed innovative research and obtained breakthroughs in understanding the brain and brain repair. I have made significant contributions in understanding the mechanisms underlying adult neural stem cells and neurogenesis, neurodevelopment, and neural protection. I would like to share two things on my bucket list: traveling around the globe looking for exotic cuisine, and learning guitar to become a pub singer.


Zhijian Zhang, PhD

Zhijian Zhang, PhD
 Zhijian.Zhang@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Before joining the lab in 2019, I was experienced in revealing neural circuitry basis for naturalistic behaviors and diseases using viral tools and some other techniques, such as opto-/chemo-genetics, calcium dependent optometry, etc. My long-term goal is to understand circuitry mechanisms underlying neural development to identify an etiology of mental disorders. I may focus on investigating the circuit connections of developing neural stem cells or brain organoids to achieve this goal. My favorite sport is swimming. I believe I'll enjoy my life in Philadelphia.



Graduate Students

Daniel Zhang, BS

Daniel Zhang, BS
MD/PhD Student - Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group
 Daniel.Zhang@uphs.upenn.edu

I grew up in Newton, MA, and went to college at MIT, where I majored in chemistry and biology. Currently, I am interested in using brain organoids to model normal and pathological neural development, and applying transplantation models and single-cell techniques to study these systems. My goal is to make discoveries that advance our understanding of human biology and disease towards improving the care of patients. In my free time, I play in the Penn Med Symphony Orchestra along with students, faculty, and staff from all over the Penn, UPHS, and CHOP communities.


Dennisse Jimenez-Cyrus, BS

Dennisse Jimenez-Cyrus, BS
PhD Student - Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
 jimenden@pennmedicine.upenn.edu


Sarshan Pather, BS

Sarshan Pather, BS
MD/PhD Student - Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group
 Sarshan.Pather@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

I'm Sarshan, an MD-PhD student in the lab. I grew up in South Africa, England, and Singapore. I did my BS and MS at Hopkins and followed one year of the M. Biochem. course at St Anne's College, Oxford. I'm interested in the use of forebrain organoids to interrogate mechanisms of cortical neurogenesis and disease. I'm also interested in human neocortical evolution.


Wei-Kai Huang, BS

Wei-Kai Huang, BS
PhD Student - Pathology Graduate Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
 whuang31@pennmedicine.upenn.edu


Zheng Hao Samuel Wong, BS

Zheng Hao Samuel Wong, BS
PhD Student - Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
 zhwong@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

The structure of neural systems in the mammalian brain is dictated by tightly regulated cell generation and migration patterns during early development. These include layered structures such as the neocortex and cerebellum, and nuclear structures like the hypothalamus and thalamus. Although the organization of layered structures has been well-studied, it remains unclear as to how nuclear structures in the brain are formed. I am interested in decoding the heterogeneity of stem cells in nuclear brain structures at single-cell resolution using methods such as lineage tracing by clonal analysis and single-cell RNA seq of neural stem cells.



Visiting Scientists

Mariko Bennett, MD/PhD

Mariko Bennett, MD/PhD
Clinical Fellow


Shiying Li, PhD

Shiying Li, PhD
Visiting Professor - Associate Professor at Nantong University
 shiying.li@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

My research focuses on studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms of nerve regeneration at Nantong University. I am also interested in exploring the common diseases of the nervous system and investigating the physiological basis of Chinese traditional medicine by some new research technologies.