Wei Shen    Assistant Professor, PI
InstituteSchool of Life Science and Technology
Research AreaNeural Mechanism under innate behaviors
Contact Info.shenwei@@shanghaitech.edu.cn

Dr. Shen obtained his bachelor’s degree in  biology from Tsinghua University in 2007 (Mentor, Dr. Zihe Rao) and then he  pursued his Ph.D in behavioral neuroscience at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution  (Mentor, Dr. Craig Montell) where he used fruit fly to understand the mechanism  for thermosensation. Soon after he finished his Ph.D in 2013, he went to  Rockefeller University (Mentor, Dr. Jeff Friedman) as a postdoctoral associate  to learn mammalian genetics and study obesity related research. In 2014, he  joined School of Life Science and Technology in Shanghaitech University as an  assistant professor (Tenure-track), PI, focusing on study of neural mechanism  for thermoregulation and feeding behaviors, and their link to  diseases.

Research  Interests
Thermal homeostasis is the ability of an  organism, including most mammals to keep its body temperature within a narrow  boundary, even under thermal challenge or other stimuli. Thermal homeostasis is  necessary for other physiological activities to take place. Deviations in  cellular temperature alter a variety of molecular properties, including  enzymatic efficiency, diffusion rate and membrane fluidity, which reduce  critical cellular functions, including energy availability and ionic fluxes.  Misregulation of body temperature, such as fever and hypothermia, are commonly  seen in patients. Furthermore, thermoregulation is tightly connected to energy  expenditure as 50% of fuel is spent to maintain body temperature at rest.  

Overweight  and obesity is one of the five major death-threatening health risks world-wide.  Due to easy access to high-energy content food and lack of excise, more and more  people are becoming obese. In China, there are more than 100 million people who  are negatively affected by obesity and obesity associated problems. Obesity can  be largely attributed to unbalanced eating and energy expenditure: the energy  intake is more than the spent each day. To better understand obesity  development, it is necessary for us to understand the neuronal control of  feeding behaviors.

Thus, Dr. Shen’s group is using techniques including  optogenetics, fiber photometry and grin-lens-based microendoscopic calcium  imaging, ribosomal profiling and mRNA sequencing to delineate the mechanism for  1) thermoregulation and its related disorders; 2) the interplay between  thermoregulation and energy expenditure; 3) feeding behaviors and their roles in  weight control; 4) central mechanism for regulation of blood sugar levels. Dr.  Shen welcomes highly motivated technician or postdoctoral applicants with  relevant background to join the team.

Selected  Publications
1. Zhe Yang, Rui Huang, Xin Fu, Gaohang Wang, Wei Qi,  Shen W.L.*, Liming Wang* (2018) An internal sensor detects  dietary amino acids and promotes food consumption in Drosophila,  Cell Research accepted (*, corresponding  authors,). bioRxiv: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/10/17/204453.  

2. Zhao, Z., Yang, W., Gao, C., Fu, X., Zhang, W., Zhou, Q., Chen, W.,  Ni, X., Lin, J., Yang, J., Xu, X., Shen, W.L.* (2017)  Hypothalamic circuit that controls body temperature. Proc Natl Acad  Sci. In press. (*, corresponding  author)(Commented article by PNAS, Commentary link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28179562)

3. Luo, J., Shen, W.L., & Montell, C. (2017) TRPA1  mediates sensation of the rate of temperature change in Drosophila larvae.  Nat Neurosci 20(1), 34-41.

4. Zhang, Y., Raghuwanshi, R.P., Shen, W.L., and Montell, C.  (2013). Food experience-induced taste desensitization modulated by the  Drosophila TRPL channel. Nat Neurosci, 16, 1468-1476.  

5. Shen, W.L., Kwon, Y., Adegbola, A.A., Luo, J., Chess, A.,  and Montell, C. (2011). Function of rhodopsin in temperature discrimination in  Drosophila. Science 331, 1333-1336.

6. Kwon, Y.*, Shen, W.L.*, Shim, H.S., and Montell, C.  (2010). Fine thermotactic discrimination between the optimal and slightly cooler  temperatures via a TRPV channel in chordotonal neurons. J  Neurosci 30, 10465-10471. (*, equally  contributed)

7. Xue, X., Yu, H., Yang, H., Xue, F., Wu, Z., Shen, W., Li,  J., Zhou, Z., Ding, Y., Zhao, Q., et al. (2008). Structures of two coronavirus  main proteases: implications for substrate binding and antiviral drug  design. J Virol 82, 2515-2527.

8. Xue, X., Yang, H., Shen, W., Zhao, Q., Li, J., Yang, K.,  Chen, C., Jin, Y., Bartlam, M., and Rao, Z. (2007). Production of authentic  SARS-CoV M(pro) with enhanced activity: application as a novel tag-cleavage  endopeptidase for protein overproduction. J Mol Biol  366, 965-975.

9. Li, J.*, Shen, W.*, Liao, M., and Bartlam, M. (2007).  Preliminary crystallographic analysis of avian infectious bronchitis virus main  protease. Acta crystallographica Section F, Structural  biology and crystallization communications 63, 24-26. (*, equally  contributed