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NeuroSchool seminar: Hongkui Zeng

"Understanding brain cell type diversity, development & evolution"

Thursday, 29 June 2023, the NeuroSchool PhD Program will invite Hongkui Zeng in Luminy Campus for NeuroMarseille Day, on the “Understanding brain cell type diversity, development & evolution”.
Hongkui Zeng is Executive Vice President & Director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science

Thursday June 29, 2023, Luminy Campus

The schedule is as follows:

  • 9:00 am – preparatory session – for students only
  • 10:00 am – discussion between students and speaker
  • 11:00 am – Seminar – Open to all but please register for the NeuroMarseille day!

📢 PhD students: register on AMETICE for your hours to be counted. Attendants to all 3 parts of the seminar (prepraratory session, seminar, discussion with speaker) get 3 hours, chairpersons 4 hours.


The brain is highly complex interconnected network of a vast number of neurons that display multilevel complexity at the molecular, anatomical and functional level. To understand the structure, function and development as well as the principles of information processing in brain circuits it is essential to gain a systematic understanding of its components – cell types, to monitor their activities during information processing and selectively target and manipulate them so as to investigate their functional roles. Combining single-cell transcriptomic analysis with large-scale imaging and anatomical studies provides the opportunity to create a multimodal taxonomy of cell types within the brain.
Dr. Zeng’s team at the Allen Institute for Brain Science has been building multiple platforms, including single-cell transcriptomics, single and multi-patching electrophysiology, 3D reconstruction of neuronal morphology, high throughput brain-wide connectivity mapping, neuronal activity imaging, and cell type-specific transgenic and viral targeting to characterize the transcriptomic, physiological, morphological, and connectivity properties of cell types in a standardized way. Her research lays a foundation for dissecting neural circuit function across species and across cortical regions and understanding how its dysfunction may lead to brain diseases.


Hongkui Zeng joined the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2006 and became Executive Vice President Director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2020. From 2016 to 2020, she led the Structured Science Division to develop and operate high-throughput pipelines to generate large-scale, open-access datasets and tools to accelerate neuroscience discovery. Since joining the Allen Institute, she has also led several research programs, including the Transgenic Technology program, the Human Cortex Gene Survey project, the Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas project, and the Mouse Cell Types and Connectivity program. Zeng received her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University, where she studied the molecular mechanisms of the circadian clock in fruit flies. Then as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she studied the molecular and synaptic mechanisms underlying hippocampus-dependent plasticity and learning. Her current research interests are in understanding neuronal diversity and connectivity in the mouse visual cortical circuit and how different neuronal types work together to process and transform visual information. She has broad scientific experience and a keen interest in using a combined molecular, anatomical and physiological approach to unravel mechanisms of brain circuitry and potential means for treating brain diseases.

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