Ming-Hu Han, PhD
- ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR | Pharmacological Sciences
- ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR | Neuroscience
Research Topics:Addiction, Behavior, Depression, Motor Neuron, Neural Networks, Neurophysiology, Synapses, Synaptic Plasticity, Synaptogenesis, Systems Neuroscience
Dr. Han is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, with a joint appointment in the Department of Neuroscience. The Han Laboratory studies neurophysiological mechanisms of depression and alcohol addiction in rodent models.
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Multi-Disciplinary Training AreasBiophysics and Systems Pharmacology [BSP], Neuroscience [NEU]
PhD, Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University School of Medicine
Faculty Fellowship, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
NARSAD Independent Investigator Award
Faculty Council Award for Academic Excellence
Dr. Harold & Golden Lamport Research Award for Excellence in Basic Science Research
Rising Star Translational Research Award
Young Investigator Award
One of the most fundamental functions of the brain is the capacity to develop adaptive changes in response to environmental stimuli under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. These neural adaptations can occur at a variety of levels such as at the levels of ion channels, synaptic transmission, and integrative function of neuron and neural network, and they are believed to be responsible for governing behavioral/psychological functioning. Dr. Han’s laboratory is specifically interested in identifying the intrinsic plasticity of ion channels and neuronal excitability, and adaptive changes in neural network, that are induced by psychological stress and alcohol in the dopamine circuit of the ventral tegmental area, an emotion- and reward-related system. Research in Dr. Han’s laboratory focuses on the underlying mechanisms of these neuroadpations and how they mediate behavioral susceptibility and resilience to stress and alcohol in laboratory models of depression and alcohol dependence.
To understand the roles of neuroadaptations in mediating behavioral changes, the laboratory employs an up-down-up methodology: established behavior model - neuroadaptation - molecular/ionic mechanism - molecular/ionic manipulation - validation of neuronal function - behavioral test. The laboratory uses in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological techniques to identify neuroadaptations and investigate molecular/ionic mechanisms, and employs advanced gene manipulation approaches, including viral-mediated gene delivery, local knockouts of interested genes, and optogenetic tools, to conduct molecular/ionic manipulation followed by behavioral assays. The combination of these gene manipulation techniques and neurophysiology offers the laboratory a unique ability to explore the neurophysiological basis of depression and alcoholism.
For more information, visit Ming-Hu Han’s Laboratory of Cellular Neurophysiology.
Conte Center on Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression
Friedman AK, Han MH. The Use of Herpes Simplex Virus in Ex Vivo Slice Culture. Current protocols in neuroscience / editorial board, Jacqueline N. Crawley ... [et al.] 2015; 72.
Christoffel DJ, Golden SA, Walsh JJ, Guise KG, Heshmati M, Friedman AK, Dey A, Smith M, Rebusi N, Pfau M, Ables JL, Aleyasin H, Khibnik LA, Hodes GE, Ben-Dor GA, Deisseroth K, Shapiro ML, Malenka RC, Ibanez-Tallon I, Han MH, Russo SJ. Excitatory transmission at thalamo-striatal synapses mediates susceptibility to social stress. Nature neuroscience 2015 Jul; 18(7).
Bagot RC, Parise EM, Peña CJ, Zhang HX, Maze I, Chaudhury D, Persaud B, Cachope R, Bolaños-Guzmán CA, Cheer J, Deisseroth K, Han MH, Nestler EJ. Ventral hippocampal afferents to the nucleus accumbens regulate susceptibility to depression. Nature communications 2015; 6.
Heller EA, Cates HM, Peña CJ, Sun H, Shao N, Feng J, Golden SA, Herman JP, Walsh JJ, Mazei-Robison M, Ferguson D, Knight S, Gerber MA, Nievera C, Han MH, Russo SJ, Tamminga CS, Neve RL, Shen L, Zhang HS, Zhang F, Nestler EJ. Locus-specific epigenetic remodeling controls addiction- and depression-related behaviors. Nature neuroscience 2014 Dec; 17(12).
Koo JW, Lobo MK, Chaudhury D, Labonté B, Friedman A, Heller E, Peña CJ, Han MH, Nestler EJ. Loss of BDNF signaling in D1R-expressing NAc neurons enhances morphine reward by reducing GABA inhibition. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2014 Oct; 39(11).
Li B, Jie W, Huang L, Wei P, Li S, Luo Z, Friedman AK, Meredith AL, Han MH, Zhu XH, Gao TM. Nuclear BK channels regulate gene expression via the control of nuclear calcium signaling. Nature neuroscience 2014 Aug; 17(8).
Walsh JJ, Han MH. The heterogeneity of ventral tegmental area neurons: Projection functions in a mood-related context. Neuroscience 2014 Jun; 282C.
Friedman AK, Walsh JJ, Juarez B, Ku SM, Chaudhury D, Wang J, Li X, Dietz DM, Pan N, Vialou VF, Neve RL, Yue Z, Han MH. Enhancing depression mechanisms in midbrain dopamine neurons achieves homeostatic resilience. Science 2014 Apr; 344(6181): 313-319.
Maze I, Chaudhury D, Dietz DM, Von Schimmelmann M, Kennedy PJ, Lobo MK, Sillivan SE, Miller ML, Bagot RC, Sun H, Turecki G, Neve RL, Hurd YL, Shen L, Han MH, Schaefer A, Nestler EJ. G9a influences neuronal subtype specification in striatum. Nature neuroscience 2014 Apr; 17(4).
Walsh JJ, Friedman AK, Sun H, Heller EA, Ku SM, Juarez B, Burnham VL, Mazei-Robison MS, Ferguson D, Golden SA, Koo JW, Chaudhury D, Christoffel DJ, Pomeranz L, Friedman JM, Russo SJ, Nestler EJ, Han MH. Stress and CRF gate neural activation of BDNF in the mesolimbic reward pathway. Nature Neuroscience 2014 Jan; 17(1): 27-29.
Chaudhury D, Walsh JJ, Friedman AK, Juarez B, Ku SM, Koo JW, Ferguson D, Tsai HC, Pomeranz L, Christoffel D, Nectow AR, Ekstrand M, Domingos A, Mazie-Robison M, Mouzon E, Lobo MK, Neve RL, Friedman JM, Russo SJ, Deisseroth K, Nestler EJ, Han MH. Rapid regulation of depression-like behaviors by control of midbrain dopamine neurons. Nature 2013 Jan; 493(7433): 532-536.
Russo SJ, Murrough JW, Han MH, Charney DS, Nestler EJ. Neurobiology of resilience. Nature Neuroscience 2012 Nov; 15(11): 1475-1484.
Koo JW, Mazei-Robison MS, Chaudhury D, Juarez B, LaPlant Q, Ferguson D, Feng J, Sun H, Scobie KN, Damez-Werno D, Crumiller M, Ohnishi YN, Ohnishi YH, Mouzon E, Dietz DM, Lobo MK, Neve RL, Russo SJ, Han MH, Nestler EJ. BDNF is a negative modulator of morphine action. Science 2012 Oct; 338(6103): 124-128.
Kurita M, Holloway T, García-Bea A, Kozlenkov A, Friedman AK, Moreno JL, Heshmati M, Golden SA, Kennedy PJ, Takahashi N, Dietz DM, Mocci G, Gabilondo AM, Hanks J, Umali A, Callado LF, Gallitano AL, Neve RL, Shen L, Buxbaum JD, Han MH, N