Principal Investigator








  1. Liu Y#, Shan L, Liu T, Li J, Chen Y, Sun C, Yang C, Bian X, Niu Y, Zhang C, Xi J, Rao Y#. Molecular and cellular mechanisms of the first social relationship: A conserved role of 5-HT from mice to monkeys, upstream of oxytocin. Neuron. 2023 Feb 25:S0896-6273(23)00114-9.
  2. Liu ZY, Jiang LF, Li CY, Li CG, Yang JQ, Yu JJ, Mao RB and Rao Y. LKB1 is physiologically required for sleep from Drosophila melanogaster to the Mus musculus. Genetics 221, iyac082.
  3. Liu YX, Wang TV, Cui YF, Li CY, Jiang LF and Rao Y. STE20 phosphorylation of AMPK related kinases revealed by biochemical purifications combined with genetics. J Biol Chem 298, 101928.
  4. Liu YX, Wang TV, Cui YF, Gao SX and Rao Y. Biochemical purification uncovers mammalian sterile 3 (MST3) as a new protein kinase for multifunctional protein kinases AMPK and SIK3.J Biol Chem 298, 101929.
  5. Xihuimin Dai*#, Enxing Zhou*, Wei Yang, Renbo Mao, Wenxia Zhang and Yi Rao. Molecular resolution of a behavioral paradox: sleep and arousal are regulated by distinct acetylcholine receptors in different neuronal types in Drosophila. Sleep, 2021 advance.
  6. Zijian Zhu*, Biqing Chen*, Ren Na*, Wan Fang, Wenxia Zhang, Qin Zhou, Shanbi Zhou, Han Lei, Ailong Huang, Tingmei Chen, Dongsheng Ni, Yuping Gu, Jianing Liu, Yi Rao#, and Fang Fang#. Heritability of human visual contour integration—an integrated genomic study. European Journal of Human Genetics, Published online: 30 July 2019.
  7. Yi Rao. The First Hormone: Adrenaline. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism
  8. Xihuimin Dai*, Enxing Zhou*, Wei Yang, Xiaohui Zhang, Wenxia Zhang, and Yi Rao. D-Serine Made by Serine Racemase in Drosophila Intestine Plays a Physiological Role in Sleep. Nature Communications (2019) 10:1986.
  9. Bowen Deng*, Qi Li*, Xinxing Liu*, Yue Cao*, Bingfeng Li, Yongjun Qian, Rui Xu, Renbo Mao, Enxing Zhou, Wenxia Zhang, Juan Huang, and Yi Rao. Chemoconnectomics: Mapping Chemical Transmission in Drosophila. Neuron, 2019, 101: 876–893.
  10. Biqing Chen*, Zijian Zhu*, Ren Na*, Wan Fang, Wenxia Zhang, Qin Zhou, Shanbi Zhou, Han Lei, Ailong Huang, Tingmei Chen, Dongsheng Ni, Yuping Gu, Jianing Liu, Fang Fang,and Yi Rao. Genomic Analyses of Visual Cognition: Perceptual Rivalry and Top-Down Control. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2018, 38(45): 9668 –9678.
  11. Zijian Zhu*#, Biqing Chen*#, Hongming Yan, Wan Fang, Qin Zhou, Shanbi Zhou, Han Lei, Ailong Huang, Tingmei Chen, Tianming Gao, Liang Chen, Jieyu Chen, Dongsheng Ni, Yuping Gu, Jianing Liu, Wenxia Zhang and Yi Rao. Multi-level genomic analyses suggest new genetic variants involved in human memory. Eur J Hum Genet, published online July 3rd, 2018.
  12. Xian Zhang*, Hongming Yan*, Yanjia Luo, Zili Huang and Yi Rao. Thermoregulation-Independent Regulation of Sleep by Serotonin Revealed in Mice Defective in Serotonin Synthesis. Mol Pharmacol, 2018, 93:657-664.
  13. Biqing Chen*, Zijian Zhu*, Yingying Wang, Xiaohu Ding, Xiaobo Guo, Mingguang He, Wan Fang, Qin Zhou, Shanbi Zhou, Han Lei, Ailong Huang, Tingmei Chen, Dongsheng Ni, Yuping Gu, Jianing Liu, Yi Rao. Nature vs. nurture in human sociality: multi-level genomic analyses of social conformity. Journal of Human Genetics, 2018, Advance Online.
  14. Yongjun Qian, Yue Cao , Bowen Deng, Guang Yang , Jiayun Li, Rui Xu , Dandan zhang , Juan Huang, Yi Rao. Sleep homeostasis regulated by 5HT2b receptor in a small subset of neurons in the dorsal fan-shaped body of drosophila. eLife , 2017 , 6:e26519.
  15. Zijian Zhu, Yingying Wang, Zhijun Cao, Biqing Chen, Huaqian Cai, Yanhong Wu, Yi Rao. Cue-independent memory impairment by reactivation-coupled interference in human declarative memory. Cognition,155 (2016) 125–134.
  16. Shasha Zhang, Yan Liu, Yi Rao. Serotonin signaling in the brain of adult female mice is required for sexual preference. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA , 2013 , 110: 9968-9973.
  17. Chuan Zhou*, Hai Huang*, Susy M. Kim*, Hsuanwen Lin, Xianglan Meng, Kyung-An Han, Ann-Shyn Chiang, Jing W. Wang, Renjie Jiao and Yi Rao#. Molecular Genetic Analysis of Sexual Rejection: Roles of Octopamine and Its Receptor OAMB in Drosophila Courtship Conditionin.Journal of Neuroscience, 2012.
  18. Weiwei Liu, Xinhua Liang, Jianxian Gong, Zhen Yang, Yao-Hua Zhang, Jian-Xu Zhang and Yi Rao. Social regulation of aggression by pheromonal activation of Or65a olfactory neurons in Drosophila. Nature neurosci (2011) .
  19. Yan Liu, Yun`ai Jiang, Yunxia Si, Ji-Young Kim, Zhou-feng Chen and Yi Rao. Molecular regulation of sexual preference revealed by genetic studies of 5-HT in the brains of male mice. Nature (2011)
  20. Chuan Zhou, Yong Rao, and Yi Rao. A subset of octopaminergic neurons are important for Drosophila aggression. Nature Neurosci 11:1059-1061 (2008).
  21. Li X, Gao X, Liu G, Xiong W, Wu J, Rao Y. Netrin signal transduction and the guanine nucleotide exchange factor DOCK180 in attractive signaling. Nature Neuroscience (2008).
  22. Guo W, Jiang H, Gray V, Dedhar S, and Rao Y. Role of the integrin-linked kinase (ILK) in determining neuronal polarity. Dev Biol (2007)
  23. Jiang H., Guo W., Liang X.H., and Rao Y. Both the establishment and the maintenance of neuronal polarity require active mechanisms: critical roles of GSK-3b and its upstream regulators. Cell (2005) .
  24. Liu G., Beggs H., Jürgensen C., Park H.T., Tang H., Gorski J., Jones K.R., Reichardt L.F., Wu J.Y., and Rao Y. Netrin requires the focal adhesion kinase and the Src family kinases to induce axon outgrowth and to attract axons. Nature Neurosci (2004) .
  25. Ward M.E., Wu J.Y. and Rao Y. Visualization of spatially and temporally regulated N-WASP activity during cytoskeletal reorganization in living cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA (2004).
  26. Zhu Y., Yu T., Zhang X-C, Nagasawa T., Wu J.Y., and Rao Y. Role of the chemokine SDF-1 as the meningeal attractant for embryonic cerebellar neurons. Nature Neurosci (2002).
  27. Wong K., Ren X-R, Huang Y-Z, Xie Y., Liu G., Saito H., Tang H., Wen L., Brady-Kalnay S.M., Mei L., Wu J.Y., Xiong W-C, and Rao Y. Signal Transduction in Neuronal Migration: Roles of GTPase Activating Proteins and the Small GTPase Cdc42 in the Slit-Robo Pathway. Cell (2001) .
  28. Wu J.Y., Feng L., Park H-T, Havlioglu N., Wen L., Tang H., Bacon K.B., Jiang Z., Zhang X-C, and Rao Y. The neuronal repellent Slit inhibits leukocyte chemotaxis induced by chemotactic factors. Nature (2001).
  29. Wu W., Wong K., Chen J.H., Jiang Z.H., Dupuis S., Wu J.Y., and Rao Y. Directional guidance of neuronal migration in the olfactory system by the protein Slit.Nature (1999).
  30. Li H.S., Chen J.H., Wu W., Fagaly T., Yuan W.L., Zhou L., Dupuis S., Jiang Z., Nash W., Gick C., Ornitz D., Wu J.Y., and Rao Y. Vertebrate Slit, a secreted ligand for the transmembrane protein Roundabout, is a repellent for olfactory bulb axons. Cell (1999). 
  31. Li H.S., Tierney C., Wen L., Wu J.Y. and Rao Y. A single morphogenetic field gives rise to two retina primordia under the influence of the prechordal mesoderm. Development (1997). 
  32. Rao Y., Jan L.Y., and Jan Y.N. Similarity of the product of the Drosophila neurogenic gene big brain to transmembrane channel proteins. Nature (1990).