The Lu lab is interested in how activity-dependent processes during brain development fine-tune the establishment of neural circuits and how sensory experiences affect neural circuit wiring and cognitive behaviors. Specifically, we are interested in exploring the role of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5), a group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor.

We are also exploring the role of the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system in fetal brain development and investigating how prenatal cannabis exposure affects brain development and later behaviors.

Her research focuses on the signaling cascades underlying neural circuit connections during brain development, to understand how sensory experiences affect neural circuit wiring, and to identify novel factors required to maintain the health of neural circuits during aging.

Current Research:

  • Development of cortical neural circuits, in particular on activity-dependent remodeling and how to correct mis-wiring in neurological disorders.
  • Neuroprotective strategies to reserve cognition and to protect against dementia.


  • How do neuronal circuits form in the developing brain?
  • How is a healthy brain maintained and what causes neurons to die?
  • neurocircuitry formation
  • Calcium as an activity indicator

Research Interests:

  • Development of neural circuitry, particularly in the neocortex
  • Activity-dependent remodeling and mis-wiring in autism, dyslexia, schizophrenia, and congenital epilepsy
  • Neuroprotective strategies

Research Interests:

  • development of neural circuitry, particularly on how environmental factors like cannabis and opioids alter neural circuits and results in lasting impacts on behaviors; develop neuroprotective strategies to prevent neurodegeneration and dementia such as Alzheimer’s Disease

Research interests: Understanding the development, plasticity, maintenance, and aging of neural circuitry; gaining molecular insights into how neural activity-dependent mechanisms shape neural wiring; elucidating endogenous neuroprotection mechanisms to direct the development of therapeutic interventions to slow cognitive decline or neuronal loss in neurodegenerative conditions

Subject Area

  • Psychological and Brain Sciences
Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Psychology
PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, Developmental Biology, 1997
BS, National Taiwan University, Zoology, 1991