Lu Sun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.  He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Tsinghua University and earned his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins University. As a graduate student in Dr. Alex Kolodkin’s laboratory, he discovered key molecular mechanisms that wire visual circuits (Sun et al., Science 2013; Riccomagno*, Sun* et al., Neuron 2014; Sun et al., Neuron 2015). As a postdoctoral fellow mentored by Dr. Ben Barres (1954-2017) at Stanford University, he focused on neuron-glia interactions and identified novel mechanisms that govern spatiotemporal specificity of central nervous system myelination (Sun et al., Cell 2018). In 2020, Lu Joined the faculty at UT Southwestern as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology.  Lu has been awarded with several fellowships including the Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Multiple Sclerosis Society Career Transition Award, and NIH Pathway to Independent Award (K99/R00). As an Assistant Professor, Lu received UT System Rising STARs Award, 2020 BBRF Young Investigator Award (NARSAD Award), and 2021 NIH Director's New Innovator Award. Lu is an Endowed Scholar in biomedical research.


Tsinghua University (2006)
Graduate School
Johns Hopkins University (2014)

Research Interest

  • Neuron-glia interactions
  • Oligodendrocyte development and mechanisms of myelination
  • Roles of glia in neurological diseases and brain tumors


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Distinct oligodendrocyte populations have spatial preference and different responses to spinal cord injury.
Floriddia EM, Lourenço T, Zhang S, van Bruggen D, Hilscher MM, Kukanja P, Gonçalves Dos Santos JP, Altinkök M, Yokota C, Llorens-Bobadilla E, Mulinyawe SB, Grãos M, Sun LO, Frisén J, Nilsson M, Castelo-Branco G, Nat Commun 2020 11 11 1 5860
Developmental Heterogeneity of Microglia and Brain Myeloid Cells Revealed by Deep Single-Cell RNA Sequencing.
Li Q, Cheng Z, Zhou L, Darmanis S, Neff NF, Okamoto J, Gulati G, Bennett ML, Sun LO, Clarke LE, Marschallinger J, Yu G, Quake SR, Wyss-Coray T, Barres BA Neuron 2019 Jan 101 2 207-223.e10
Dlg5 regulates dendritic spine formation and synaptogenesis by controlling subcellular N-cadherin localization.
Wang SH, Celic I, Choi SY, Riccomagno M, Wang Q, Sun LO, Mitchell SP, Vasioukhin V, Huganir RL, Kolodkin AL J. Neurosci. 2014 Sep 34 38 12745-61
Sema6B, Sema6C, and Sema6D Expression and Function during Mammalian Retinal Development.
Matsuoka RL, Sun LO, Katayama K, Yoshida Y, Kolodkin AL PLoS ONE 2013 8 4 e63207
Guidance-cue control of horizontal cell morphology, lamination, and synapse formation in the mammalian outer retina.
Matsuoka RL, Jiang Z, Samuels IS, Nguyen-Ba-Charvet KT, Sun LO, Peachey NS, Chédotal A, Yau KW, Kolodkin AL, J. Neurosci. 2012 May 32 20 6859-68

Honors & Awards

  • NIH Director's New Innovator Award (DP2 Award)
  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award (NARSAD Award)
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center Endowed Scholar
  • UT System Rising STARs Award
  • Third Place, Sammy Kuo Award in Neuroscience, Stanford University
  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
  • The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Career Transition Award
  • Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship Award
  • The Paul Ehrlich Research Award, The Johns Hopkins University