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 the 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, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Career Transition Award, and the NIH Pathway to Independent Award (K99/R00). As an Assistant Professor, Lu received the UT System Rising STARs Award, the 2020 BBRF Young Investigator Award (NARSAD Award), the 2021 NIH Director's New Innovator Award (DP2 Award), the 2023 Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award in Neuroscience, and the 2023 Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration 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 myelination mechanisms
  • Roles of glia in neurological disorders


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

A luciferase fragment complementation assay to detect focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signaling events.
Estep JA, Sun LO, Riccomagno MM, Heliyon 2023 Apr 9 4 e15282
Oligodendrocyte-lineage cell exocytosis and L-type prostaglandin D synthase promote oligodendrocyte development and myelination.
Pan L, Trimarco A, Zhang AJ, Fujimori K, Urade Y, Sun LO, Taveggia C, Zhang Y, Elife 2023 Feb 12
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
Glia Get Neurons in Shape.
Sun LO, Barres BA Cell 2016 May 165 4 775-6

Honors & Awards

  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Early Career Acceleration Award
  • Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award in Neuroscience
  • 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
  • The 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