Wei Wei

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Department of Neurobiology

The University of Chicago
947 E. 58th St., MC0928
Chicago, IL 60637

Email: weiw@uchicago.edu
Phone: (773) 702-2016 (office)/(773) 702-1501 (lab)
Fax: (773) 702-3774

Wei Lab website

 

Research Summary

Strategies for circuit assembly and development in the visual system.

 

Research Description

How are neural circuits assembled during development to perform specific computations? An excellent model system to address this question is the retina, where a diverse set of neural circuits are wired with remarkable precision and intricacy to extract salient features such as color, contrast and motion from the visual scene. Each retinal circuit utilizes distinct neuronal types and conveys the processed visual information to higher brain by a specific type of retinal ganglion cells.

We are interested in the synaptic basis of neural computation in the retina. Our current research is focused on understanding the developmental and adult patterns of synaptic connections underlying the retinal circuits, and determining how the specific wiring patterns impact visual processing. We leverage the increasing repertoire of genetic tools that label specific retinal neuron types to target the synapses of interest, and characterize the maturation and function of these synapses using a combination of techniques including multiphoton microscopy, visual stimulation, electrophysiology and molecular biology. These studies will provide insight into the neural mechanisms of visual processing in the retina, and also have broader implications in the fundamental questions of synapse development and organization in the central nervous system.

 

Select Publications

Rivlin-Etzion, M., Wei, W. & Feller, M.B. Visual stimulation reverses the directional preference of direction-selective retinal ganglion cells. Neuron 76, 518-525 (2012).

Wei Wei and Marla B. Feller. 2011 “Organization and development of direction selective circuits in the retina” (Review). Trends in Neurosciences Dec;34(12):638-45. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Michal Rivlin-Etzion, Kaili Zhou, Wei Wei, Justin Elstrott, Phong Nguyen, Ben Barres, Andrew Huberman, and Marla Feller. 2011 “Transgenic mice reveal unexpected diversity of On-Off direction selective retinal ganglion cell subtypes and brain structures involved in motion processing.”  J. Neurosci.  Jun 15; 31(24):8760-9.

Wei Wei, Aaron M. Hamby, Kaili Zhou, Marla B. Feller. 2011. “Development of asymmetric inhibition underlying retinal direction selectivity in the retina.” Nature 469(7330):402-6.

Wei Wei, Justin Elstrott, & Marla B. Feller. 2010. “Two-photon targeted recording of GFP-expressing neurons for light responses and live-cell imaging in the mouse retina.”  Nature Protocols 5, 1347– 1352.

Peter G. Fuerst, Freyja Bruce, Miao Tian, Wei Wei, Justin Elstrott, Marla B. Feller, Lynda Erskine, Joshua H. Singer, and Robert W. Burgess. 2009. “DSCAM and DSCAML1 Function in Self-Avoidance in Multiple Cell Types in the Developing Mouse Retina.” Neuron 64(4):484-97.

Huberman A*, Wei W*, Elstrott J*, Stafford B, Feller MB, Barres B. 2009. “Genetic identification of On-Off direction selective retinal ganglion cells reveals a layer specific subcortical map of posterior motion.” Neuron 62: 327-334.

Job Openings

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Please send CV and U. Chicago transcripts to weiw@uchicago.edu