Mei Zhen

Dr. Mei Zhen

Dr. Mei Zhen is the Canada Research Chair in Brain and Behavior, Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto, a Senior Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, and a Visiting Professor of Physics at Harvard University. Her work combines electron microscopy, genetics, optogenetics, and electrophysiology to explore how the C. elegans nervous system develops and operates.



  • Connectomes across development reveal principles of brain maturation in C. elegans (PDF)
  • A pipeline for volume electron microscopy of the Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system (PDF)


  • Corollary neuron underlies motor feedback to sustain forward motor state (PDF)
  • Natural sensory context drives diverse brain-wide activity during C. elegans mating (PDF)


  • Towards a live soft microrobot: optogenetic locomotion control of Caenorhabditis elegans (coming soon)
  • Real-time volumetric reconstruction of biological dynamics with light-field microscopy and deep learning (PDF)
  • Efficient and cost-effective 3D cellular imaging by sub-voxel-resolving light-sheet add-on microscopy (PDF)
  • Optogenetic manipulation of postsynaptic cAMP using a novel transgenic mouse line enables synaptic plasticity and enhanced depolarization in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (PDF)

Neural Development and Synaptic Transmission

  • Open syntaxin overcomes synaptic transmission defects in diverse C. elegans exocytosis mutants (PDF)
  • Gain-of-function mutations in the UNC-2/CaV2α channel lead to hyperactivity and excitation-dominant synaptic transmission in Caenorhabditis elegans (PDF)

Diseases and Stem Cells

  • Signal requirement for cortical potential of transplantable human neuroepithelial stem cells (PDF)
  • Overexpression of an ALS-associated FUS mutation in C. elegans disrupts NMJ morphology and leads to defective neuromuscular transmission (PDF)