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Dr Lan Zhu

Job: Lecturer in Biomedical and Medical Science

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Allied Health Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 2577375

E: lan.zhu@dmu.ac.uk

W:

Social Media: www.dmu.ac.uk/hls

 

Personal profile

Lan Zhu studied Medicine in Wuhan, China and went on to teach Physiology for a couple of years in the same Medical School. To further develop her interest in neuroscience she went to study for her PhD in Neuroscience in Turin, Italy upon receiving an international PhD studentship. After her PhD, she has been working at University of Turin, Italy, University of Leicester and King’s College London as a postdoctoral researcher. 

She joined DMU in February 2015 as a Lecturer in Biomedical and Medical Science. Her main research interests are the neuronal mechanisms in physiological and pathological processes. She has been studying the brain mechanisms for learning and memory at the cellular and molecular level, e.g. neuronal/synaptic plasticity, for several years. She had been studying ion channel mechanisms particularly potassium channel mechanisms in peripheral neuropathic pain in the recent years.

She also has a passion in the translational research which led her to lead and complete a project with a group of neuroscientists, engineers and urologists.

She is currently interested in combining neurophysiology with neuropsychiatry and trying to understand the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders. Her current research is looking at the regulation of potassium channels and the underlying mechanisms in the brain of a pharmacological animal model of schizophrenia. She is collaborating with neuroscientists from DMU and University of Leicester.

The research techniques employed in her research include whole cell patch clamp recording, in vivo extracellular recording, ex vivo intracellular recording, cell/tissue culture, confocal imaging, immunohistochemistry, animal surgery, tissue preparation.

Research group affiliations

Publications and outputs 

Click here to view a full listing of Dr Lan Zhu's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Physiology of potassium channels particularly voltage-gated potassium channels
  • Regulation of voltage-gated potassium channels and its mechanisms in psychiatric disorders particularly schizophrenia
  • Neuropathic pain ion channel mechanisms particularly potassium channels
  • Translational bioengineering e.g. bladder functional recovery after spinal cord injury
  • Cellular mechanisms, e.g. neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity, of Learning and memory
  • Pharmacology of glutamatergic receptors, e.g, AMPAR, NMDAR, mGluR and their involvement in synaptic plasticity underlying learning and memory

Areas of teaching

  • Nervous system
  • Histopathology and Cytopathology
  • Basic anatomy and physiology

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Medicine
  • PhD in Neuroscience

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • British Neuroscience Association (BNA)
  • Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)
  • International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Professional licences and certificates

  • Certificate of Home Office Procedure Individual Licence
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education

Projects

  • Regulation of potassium channels and its underlying mechanisms in the brain of a schzophrenia animal model

Conference attendance

  • Mr Lukasz Lagojda (First supervisor) 

Internally funded research project information

  • De Montfort University Research Investment Fund (Principle Investigator, 1/8/2015 - 31/07/2016). Collaborator: Prof Ian Forsythe from University of Leicester.
  • De Montfort Unviersity Full Bursary PhD studentship (1st supervisor, 1/10/2016 - 30/09/2019)

Research project for potential international students

Schizophrenia is a disabling psychiatric disorder affecting > 1% of global population with unknown cause. Voltage-gated potassium channels (Kv) exert intricate control over electrophysiological properties of neurons; hence contributing to the information processing and behaviour adaptation of the brain. The cerebellum is a region of the brain that is well known for its role in motor control. Recent research proves its involvement in cognitive functions. Recently, the concept of involvement of the cerebellum in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia is gaining momentum, exemplified in the structural and functional alterations in the cerebellum in people with schizophrenia.

This project is designed to investigate the regulation of particular types of Kv channels in the brain particularly the cerebellum and its underlying mechanisms in a schizophrenia animal model.

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