• 2022-08-19 Aug

    Watching Action Potentials in Action

    Voltage imaging offers an unique opportunity to measure the dynamics of action potential initiation and propagation, with a sub-micrometer spatial resolution that is unattainable by conventional patch-clamp electrophysiology. In two recently published research articles, we collaborated with Profs. Yan Zhang and Louis Tao at PKU to image action potential dynamics in cultured primary neurons with rhodopsin-based GEVIs. We mapped the velocity of action potentials at the axon initial segment (Zoological Research) and followed its back-propagation into somatodendrites (Neuroscience Bulletin). The observed action potential dynamics are explained through computational simulation.

  • 2022-06-28 June

    Farewell, Graduates!

    Congratulations to Yuxin, Ruirui, Feng, and Ran for defending their doctoral thesis! Yuixn will stay on as a Postdoctoral Fellow; Feng will be teaching biology at the High School Affiliated to SUSTECH in Shenzhen; Ran decides to join Sironax as a Research Scientist; Ruirui will work in the public sector in Chengdu. Wish you all great success in your chosen career paths! We are also proud of our three senior undergraduates (Yi, Lihao, Xuefeng) for receiving their BS degrees!

  • 2022-05-05 May

    Photocatalytic Crosslinking

    The dynamic RNA-protein interactions play crucial roles in cellular physiology, yet characterizing these interactions in their native cellular context at the proteomic level has remained challenging. Published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, we report a photocatalytic crosslinking (PhotoCAX) strategy for studying the composition and dynamics of protein–RNA interactions via mass spectrometry (PhotoCAX-MS) as well as RNA sequencing (PhotoCAX-seq). By integrating the blue light-triggered photocatalyst with a dual-functional RNA–protein crosslinker (RP-linker) and the phase separation-based enrichment strategy, PhotoCAX-MS reveals the dynamic change of RBPome in macrophage cells upon LPS-stimulation, as well as RBPs interacting directly with the 5′ untranslated regions of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. This work is the result of a collaboration with Prof. Peng Chen's group at PKU.

  • 2022-03-03 March

    Enhanced APEX-seq

    We have reported a sensitive method for profiling newly transcribed RNA with subcellular resolution in live cells. Published in Cell Chemical Biology, our method combines APEX-seq with non-canonical ribonucleoside metabolic incorporation, which enhances the biotinylation efficiency of APEX labeling. Application of this technique to the nuclear lamina reveals local transcripts involved in histone modification, chromosomal structure maintenance, RNA splicing and processing.

  • 2022-02-20 Feb

    Welcome Chenxin and Luming!

    Chenxin Yu from Lanzhou University and Luming Yang from Xiamen University will complete their undergraduate thesis research in our lab. Both are incoming graduate students at CCME in the next semester. Welcome to join us!

  • 2022-01-01 Jan

    Happy 2022!

    We celebrated New Year by exchanging gifts and sharing our loving memories of 2021. We look forward to a happy, healthy, and productive 2022! Our 2021 Lab Stars are Ruixuan, Shuzhang, Luxin, Yuxin, Feng, Ran, Gang, Wei, Chang, Ying, and Xinyue. Congratulations, and thank you all for helping make our lab a better place!

  • 2021-09-15 Sept

    Hybrid Indicator Review: Bringing Together the Best of Chemistry and Biology

    Check out our recent review article on Hybrid Indicators for Mapping Membrane Voltage, published in Journal of Neuroscience Methods! We summarize the state-of-the-art in the field of hybrid voltage indicators, including their molecular designs, cellular and in vivo characterizations and biological applications. We also discuss future improvements in biocompatibility, brightness and sensitivity of hybrid voltage sensors.

  • 2021-08-12 Aug

    Peng is Promoted to Tenured Associate Professor

    The promotion recognizes our six years of efforts on developing chemical tools for studying neuroscience. Peng is grateful for all lab members, past and present, for their hard work. We are looking forward to launching the next phase of research at the interface of chemistry and neuroscience.

  • 2021-06-27 June

    Welcome, Undergrads!

    Four students joined us this year for their undergraduate research training program. Welcome Wenyu Ding, Han Wang, Ruijie Li, and Peiyuan Meng!

  • 2021-06-19 June

    Congratulations to Our Graduates!

    Over the past month, four graduate students (Wei, Ying, Tao, Anqi) and five undergrads (Luorong, Ziqin, Songrui, Guanghan, Zhiwei) have defended their theses. Congratulations to all of you! We celebrated these special occasions with a lab retreat that featured both stunning stalagmite and a fierce water fight.

  • 2021-06-17 June

    Creating the SubMAPP

    What happens when proximity labeling meets protein post-translational modification profiling? In collaboration with Prof. Peng Chen's group at PKU, we have developed a method for mapping subcellular phosphoproteome in living cells and animals. Our method, called SubMAPP, capitalizes on the genetically encoded bioorthogonal decaging strategy, which enables the rapid activation of subcellular localized proximity labeling biotin ligase through either light illumination or small-molecule triggers. This is then followed by the orthogonal pull-down of phosphopeptides and quantitative protein mass spectrometry analysis. SubMAPP allows for the investigation of subcellular phosphoproteome dynamics, revealing the altered phosphorylation patterns of endoplasmic reticulum luminal proteins when cells are under stress.

  • 2021-05-04 May

    Welcome Yu Chen and Chen Li!

    Yu and Chen are enrolled in the CLS graduate program and have just finished their rotations. Both were undergraduates at CCME and trained in physical chemistry (Yu) and organic chemistry (Chen) labs. Welcome to join us and bring in new skill sets to our lab! They will work on projects related to spatial transcriptomics.

  • 2021-04-17 April

    Next-generation Hybrid Indicators

    Our hybrid voltage indicator (HVI) paper is officially online at Nature Chemistry! Since the inception of Flare indicator in 2018, we have been working hard to implement this strategy in live neurons. Thanks to Diels-Alder reaction, we are able to assemble a palette of bright and sensitive HVIs in cultured rat hippocampal neurons. The most red-shifted HVI-Cy5 faithfully reports neuronal spikes in the far-red emission range and could be paired with optogenetic actuators and green/red-emitting fluorescent indicators, allowing multiplexed imaging and all-optical electrophysiology. We look forward to using this expanded toolbox in the high-throughput screening of neuronal ion channel agonists/antagonists. Congratulations to Shuzhang, Chang, Yongxian, and our collaborators in Prof. Peng Chen's group at PKU. To read more about the history of this work, check out our "Behind the Paper" post at Nature Portfolio Chemistry Community.

  • 2021-01-01 Jan

    Happy New Year!

    Although 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us, we are doing a great job coping with COVID-19. Surviving and thriving, we are looking forward to a brighter 2021! In our annual party, we exchanged gifts and shared memories of the past year. Congratulations to our 2020 Lab Stars - Shuzhang, Ruixuan, Luxin, Feng, Ran, Wei, Yi, Ying, Ruirui, Yuxin, Gang, Junqi, Ruixiang, and Chang. Thank you all for working hard to make our lab a better place!

  • 2020-09-24 Sept

    Bayer Investigator

    Peng is honored to receive 2020 Bayer Investigator Award from Bayer-Peking University Center for Translational Research.

  • 2020-08-17 Aug

    CIBR Young Scholar

    Peng is selected as CIBR Young Scholar by Chinese Institute for Brain Research (CIBR).

  • 2020-07-09 July

    Welcome Dr. Zhang!

    We are delighted to welcome Dr. Wei Zhang to join our group as a postdoctoral fellow! Wei did his graduate study in molecular neuroscience at the Cajal Institute of Spanish National Research Council, where he investigated the mechanisms by which neurons establish and maintain cellular polarity. He obtained his PhD from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) in Spain at the end of 2019.

  • 2020-07-02 July

    Cloud Commencement Ceremony

    For the first time, we are having the Commencent ceremony online. Congratulations to Chaoling, Fu, Tenghui, and Wentao for successfully defending their undergraduate thesis and obtaining Bachlor of Science degrees! Chaoling, Fu, and Wentao will continue their PhD study in our department, while Tenghui has decided to defer his enrollment at the Scripps Research Institute at Florida Campus for one year to stay with us as a research assistant. Wish you all continued success!

  • 2020-07-01 July

    Welcome, Undergrads!

    We have an unusually large pool of students joining our lab for the Undergraduate Research Training Program this year. Welcome Haoyun An, Rui Fu, Yi Han, Haoran Hu, Wenyu Kuang, Lihao Liu, Xiao Niu, Xuefeng Wang, and Zekun Wang! They will work on a diverse array of topics, ranging from super-resolution microscopy to directed evolution.

  • 2020-05-29 May

    APEX Goes Microbial!

    Check out our recent development of APEX labeling in yeast at Cell Chem Biol! By using a clickable APEX2 substrate, Alk-Ph, we have achieved proximity-dependent protein and RNA labeling in intact yeast cells. This new approach enables the proteomic and transcriptomic mapping of yeast mitochondrial matrix with high spatial resolution and coverage, thus extending APEX applications to microorganisms. We thank our collaborator, Dr. Jing Yang from Beijing Proteome Research Center. Congratulations to Yi!

  • 2020-05-15 May

    CAPA Award

    Peng is honored and humbled to receive the 2020 OKeanos-CAPA Young Investigator Award at the Chemical and Biology interface. We thank CAPA (the Chinese-American Chemistry and Chemical Biology Professors Association) for the recognition of our work in chemical neuroscience.

  • 2020-03-30 March

    New Graduate Students

    Chang Lin and Ziqi Ren officially joined our lab as first year CCME graduate students! Both of them did undergrad research here, working on fluorescence voltage indicator and proximity-dependent RNA labeling. Welcome both of you!

  • 2020-02-18 February

    Meeting Online

    We resumed group meetings amidst the coronavirus outbreak, but had to use an online forum. Stay healthy, stay connected!

  • 2020-01-14 January

    A DNA trap

    Congratulations to Yuxin's enTRAP-seq paper, published in the special issue of Biochemistry! As you read this news, your DNA is continuously under attack by reactive metabolites (particularly endogenous oxidants). Meanwhile, your cells are busy clearing up the resulting DNA damages, which have ramifications in tumorigenesis and gene expression control. To help illuminate the cellular mechanisms and the functional roles of oxidative DNA damage, we developed a genome-wide 8-oxoguanine profiling technique, termed enzyme-mediated trapping and affinity precipitation of damaged DNA and sequencing, or enTRAP-seq for short. When applied to analyze guanine oxidation in mouse embryonic fibroblast cells, enTRAP-seq revealed the enrichment of 8-oxoguanine in transcriptionally active chromatin regions.

  • 2019-12-28 December

    Happy New Year!

    We exchanged gifts and memorable moments of 2019 at the New Year party. This year's Lab Stars are: Ruixuan, Luxin, Ran, Ying, Wei, Ruirui, Shuzhang, Gang, Yuxin, and Feng. Congratulations and thank you all for your hard work!

  • 2019-10-22 October

    SFBC Symposium Poster Award

    Congratulations to Shuzhang for winning the poster award! He presented a bright and sensitive far-red voltage indicator for visualizing membrane potential dynamics in cultured neurons.

  • 2019-10-09 October

    An RNA Map

    Check out our CAP-seq technique for mapping subcellular RNA localization at Nat Chem Biol! We employed a genetically encoded photosensitizer to achieve light-activated, proximity-dependent RNA oxidation, which allowed us to examine the local transcriptomes at various subcellular compartments. CAP-seq has high spatiotemporal resolution and is easy to use. We look forward to seeing more of its applications in the near future! We thank our collaborator, Prof. Jianbin Wang from Tsinghua University. Congratulations to Pengchong, Wei and Zeyao!

  • 2019-09-10 September

    Doctor Doctor!

    Congratulations to Yongxian Xu (on 9/6) and Pengchong Wang (on 9/10) for defending their doctoral theses!

  • 2019-08-27 August

    Peng Selected as One of C&EN's Talented 12!

    Peng Zou has been selected by Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN) as a member of this year's Talented 12 list. This program is presented annually by the newsmagazine and recognizes 12 young stars in the chemical sciences who are "working to solve some of the world's most challenging problems". This news was announced at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego, CA.

  • 2019-07-04 July

    Congratulations, Class of 2019 Undergrads!

    Congratulations to Xiaotian Bi, Ziqi Ren, Chang Lin, and Liyuan Zhu (left to right) for getting their Bachelor's degrees! Ziqi and Chang will continue their study at PKU as graduate students. Xiaotian (Caltech) and Liyuan (Princeton) will start their PhD journey in the US after the summer. We look forward to seeing your continued success in the years to come. Congratulations again to all of you!

  • 2019-06-27 June

    Pick Your Favorite Substrate

    Check out our new panel of APEX substrates in Angewandte Chemie International Edition! We synthesized a series of aromatic compounds and identified arylamines as efficient probes for labeling RNA and DNA. Using the mitochondria as a model, we demonstrated proximity-dependent RNA capture with exceptional spatial-specificity and high coverage. Congratulations to Ying and Gang! This is our first venture into the RNA world.

  • 2019-04-20 April

    Welcome Yi, Ruixiang, and Xinyue!

    Yi Li, Ruixiang Wang, and Xinyue Zhou joined our lab as first graduate students. Yi did his undergrad research in our group and has since decided to stay. Both Ruixiang and Xinyue were from Nankai University. They are enrolled in CLS program and have recently finished rotations. They will work on research projects related to proximity proteomic labeling.

  • 2019-01-26 January

    Happy Chinese New Year!

  • 2018-12-28 December

    Happy New Year!

    As a lab tradition, we played gift swap games at the New Year party and shared our memory of 2018. This year's Lab Stars are: Luxin, Pengchong, Ruixuan, Shuzhang, Yongxian, and Wei. Congratulations to everyone!

  • 2018-08-22 August

    Poster Award, Again!

    They did it again! Congratulations to Wei Tang and Pengchong Wang for winning Poster Award at the 5th Asian Chemical Biology Conference in Xi'an! We look forward to seeing broader applications of our technique in the years to come.

  • 2018-07-10 July

    Congratulations, Undergrads!

    Congratulations to Yi Li and Zhongyu Zou for successfully defending their undergraduate theses! More Bachelor's degrees in Zou Lab! Zhongyu will soon join the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago as a graduate student. Yi will continue his PhD study in our department at PKU.

  • 2018-05-18 May

    Best Poster Award!

    Wei Tang won the Best Poster Award at the PKU-UC Davis Symposium this week! During the symposium, each student gave a 3-min elevator pitch to highlight their research to the audience. Professor Alexandra Navrotsky from UC Davis presented Wei the award. The project, titled "Spatial specific RNA profiling via chromophore-assisted proximity tagging (CAP-tag)", was led jointly by Wei Tang and Pengchong Wang. Congratulations to both of you!

  • 2018-04-21 April

    New Students

    Three graduate students joined our lab this month! Ran Li and Gang Wang are both Chemistry majors from the CLS program, while Junqi Yang is our first PTN student. Welcome all of you!

  • 2018-03-06 March

    Hybrid is Better!

    Our work on hybrid voltage indicator is accepted in Angewandte Chemie International Edition! By site-specifically modifying microbial rhodopsin on live cell surface with organic fluorophores, we created a palette of hybrid indicators with combined merits of small molecules (bright, photostable and small in size) and proteins (genetically targetable). The best of this series, called Flare1, has submillisecond response speed and superior sensitivity than the previous generation of fluorescent protein-based sensors. It allowed us to investigate the spatial and temporal correlation of electrical coupling among mammalian cells. Future developments are underway to achieve voltage imaging in neurons or in vivo. Read more about the design and deployment of hybrid indicators to neuroscience research in our recent review in ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

  • 2018-01-01 January

    New Year and New Students!

    As 2018 approaches, we are delighted to welcome three CCME graduate students to join our group: Yuxin Fang, Shuzhang Liu, and Ruixuan Wang. Yuxin (B.S. in Chemistry from Nankai University) did her undergraduate thesis research in our group earlier this year and has since decided to stay. Shuzhang and Ruixuan graduated from USTC and PKU, respectively. At our New Year party this week, we exchanged gifts and shared our memorable moments in 2017. We also announced our annual Lab Stars award: Luxin, Pengchong, Ying, and Wei. Congratulations and thank you all for your hard work! We are all looking forward to a productive and happy New Year!

  • 2017-06-26 June

    Congratulations to Our Undergraduates!

    Congratulations to Yu Wang and three Yuxin's (~ Fang, ~ Mi, ~ Duan) for successfully defending their theses and getting Bachelor's degrees! After the summer, they will all move on to the next stage of their academic careers. Yu Wang will join The Scripps Research Institute for her PhD study. Yuxin Fang will be enrolled in the PhD program at CCME, PKU. Both Yuxin Mi and Yuxin Duan will move to the UK to study at the University of Oxford.

  • 2017-05-02 May

    State-of-the-Art in Voltage Imaging

    The past decade has seen a proliferation of fluorescent voltage indicators. Given the multiple choices, each with different tradeoffs between response speed and sensitivity, brightness and spectral range, one might ask: which sensor is better? In a recent review published by our group and Prof. Adam Cohen at Harvard University, we outlined the history of these voltage indicators, highlighting those with promising characteristics for in vivo imaging. We also discussed protein engineering strategies that gave rise to these sensors, and hoped that this article will inspire novel ideas for better probes. Read about it in Current Opinion in Chemical Biology.

  • 2017-03-05 March

    Welcome Ruirui and Yuxin!

    We are delighted to have Ruirui Ma and Yuxin Fang joining our group. Ruirui is a first year CCME graduate student with prior research interest in inorganic and physical chemistry. We are excited to integrate that background into our research focus. Yuxin is currently a senior undergraduate student from College of Chemistry at Nankai University, and will be entering CCME in the coming fall term. Welcome both of you!

  • 2017-01-03 January

    New Students

    As we enter the New Year, we are delighted to have four more students joining the group! Feng Yuan (B.S. in Biology), Anqi Wang (B.S. in Chemistry), and Tieqiang Yue (B.S. in Chemistry) all graduated from Cuiying Honors program at Lanzhou University. Luxin Peng majored in physical chemistry as an undergraduate at Nanjing University. This timely reinforcement will enable us to explore new research directions in the new year. Welcome all four of you!

  • 2016-12-27 December

    New Year Party and Lab Stars

    In addition to the gift swap game as a tradition, this year's party also included a one-slide flash talk, where each one of us reflected upon our joy and happiness and achievements in the past year. Old is gone and New is here. We are looking forward to a prosperous and productive 2017! As a new tradition, we have established our annual Lab Stars award, which will be determined at the end of each year by anonymous votes from a majority of lab members. This year, our first award goes to Sicong Wang, Ying Zhou, and Yongxian Xu, to recognize their strong work ethic and outstanding contributions to the lab.

  • 2016-07-18 July

    New Recruits and Summer Interns

    Several students joined our group in the past couple of months. Wei Tang obtained her B.S. degree from Sun Yat-sen University and was enrolled in the CLS program at PKU in 2015. She started rotation in our lab this April and has decided to stay since. Sicong Wang joined us as a Research Assistant last month. He recently graduated from Beihang University (BUAA) with a Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering. We are also pleased to have Renjie Shang (Ocean University of China) and Yongpeng Jiang (Wuhan University) join us as summer intern students. Welcome all of you!

  • 2016-07-06 July

    Undergraduate Research Fellowship

    Congratulations to Chenxi Sun (Yuanpei College, '18) and Shasha Feng (College of Life Sciences, '18) for being selected for Beijing Innovation Program for Undergraduate Research! Both awardees will receive research fund to support lab work. We are very proud of you!

  • 2016-05-26 May

    Thesis Defense

    Congratulations to Jiahe for defending her undergraduate research thesis! Jiahe was the first undergrad to join our lab last summer, and has been working on developing the next generation voltage sensor for her thesis. Jiahe will move to UK this summer. She is the recipient of a graduate fellowship from China Scholarship Council, which will sponsor her PhD study at the University of Oxford for the next four years. Congratulations again!

  • 2016-05-23 May

    CNHUPO Young Investigator

    Peng Zou is honored to receive the Young Investigator Award at the 9th CNHUPO (Chinese Human Proteome) Annual Congress (2016.5.21-23, Xiamen).

  • 2016-01-09 January

    Talent Award

    Peng Zou has received Thousand Young Talents Award from Chinese Government. This will encourage and support future research efforts in our lab.

  • 2015-11-11 November

    More Rotation Students

    Our lab size is temporarily doubled with the arrival of five rotation students! Jianzhi Zeng, Zhentao Zi and Shumei Hu are from CLS program. Hang Cheng and Chen Qi are from PTN program. They will start exploring new project ideas in the coming two months. Welcome!

  • 2015-09-20 September

    Rotation Students

    Welcome Ying Zhou and Tao Ding, two CCME first-year grad students to start rotation in our lab. Ying obtained her Bachelor of Engineering degree from Soochow University. Tao graduated from CCME at Peking University.

  • 2015-09-01 September

    Undergrad for the New Semester

    As the new semester starts, Jiahe Yang, a senior undergrad from School of Life Sciences, joins us to work on voltage sensor engineering for her thesis. Welcome on board!

  • 2015-08-04 August

    A Brand New Lab

    Lab renovation is completed. Our space is divided into four areas: optics room, tissue culture room, wet lab, and student office. The first two areas are built within a clean room.

  • 2015-07-11 July

    Lab Assistants

    Tongyao Wei joins our lab as research assistant. He recently graduated from School of Life Sciences at Lanzhou University. Jing Zhang joins us as administrative assistant. Welcome both of you!

  • 2015-06-15 June

    We are Growing

    Welcome the first two Zou lab members: Yongxian Xu and Pengchong Wang! Both are enrolled in the CLS program. Yongxian obtained his MS degree from Zhejiang University. Pengchong graduated from Shandong University.

  • 2015-05-13 May

    A New Chapter

    Peng Zou is appointed as an Assistant Professor in the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering at Peking University. He is also affiliated with the PKU-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, and PKU-IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, as a Principal Investigator.