Faculty Profile

Jun Lu, MD, PhD

Jun Lu, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
Physician, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

See publications

Inter-office Mail Address

HIM #819

Society Memberships

Society for Neuroscience

Research Unit(s)

Systems Neurobiology

Research Interests

My approach to understand sleep-wake behaviors is to dissect out anatomically and physiologically the neuronal groups responsible for spectrum of sleep-wake behaviors in rodent model. Once the key neuronal groups and their connections are identified, we can further fill up the details of the identified neural circuitry. One example of this approach is our recent work identifying flip-flop switch control of REM sleep.


Students and thesis advisor
Celene Chang, 2009-present
Martina Krenzer, 2009-present
Laura Nelson, PhD, 2002-2003
Vanessa Vogel, PhD, 2002-2003
David Sherman, 2005-2008

Post-doctoral fellows
Vetrivelan Ramalingam, PhD, 2007-present
Christelle Anaclet, 2008-present
Patrick Fuller, 2005-2007
Heinrich Gompf, 2006-2009
Mei-hong Qiu, 2008-2009

Research Funding

NS051609(Lu) 4/1/2005 – 3/31/2010
NIDNS $219,267
"Dopamine control of arousal"
The goal of this project is to understand how dopamine regulates wakefulness. We will identify  the wake-active dopamine cells in the ventral PAG and identify the afferents and efferents of these dopamine cells and examine the role of these wake-active dopamine cells in the regulation of wakefulness.
Role: PI

NS062727(Lu) 2/1/2009 – 1/31/2014
NIDNS $218,750
"Pontine motor circuits"
The goal of this project is to delineate the pontine neural circuits regulating motor behavior  and its links with the basal ganglia.
Role: PI

NS061841 (Lu) 7/1/2009-6/31/2011
NIDNS $249,667
"Neural circuitry regulating REM sleep"
The major goal of this project is to delineate the pontine neural circuits regulating REM sleep  and REM sleep behavior disorder.
Role: PI

MH091089 7/01/2010-6/31/2015 4.00 calendar months
"Neurocircuitry of major depression disorder (MDD)"
The goal of this grant is to dissect the neural circuit in the anterior cingulated cortex in causing major depression disorder.

NS071057 7/01/2010-6/31/2015 4.00 calendar months
"Medullary sleep circuit"
The goal of this grant is to dissect the neural circuit in the brainstem in control of sleep.
Overlap: There is potential commitment overlap for Dr. Lu between funded grants and this application. If this grant is funded, Dr. Lu will request approval to reduce efforts of funded grants.

Selected Publications

Qiu MH, Vetrivelan R, Fuller PM, Lu J. Basal ganglia control of sleep-wake  behavior and cortical activation.
Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Jan 25. [Epub ahead of print] [PMID: 20105243]

Anaclet C, Pedersen NP, Fuller PM, Lu J. Brainstem circuitry regulating phasic activation of trigeminal motoneurons during REM sleep.

PLoS One. 2010 Jan 20;5(1):e8788. [PMID: 20098748]

Fuller PM, Lu J, Saper CB. Standards of evidence in chronobiology: A response.

J Circadian Rhythms. 2009 Jul 22;7:9. [PMID: 19624818]

Vetrivelan R, Fuller PM, Tong Q, Lu J. Medullary circuitry regulating rapid eye movement sleep and motor atonia.

J Neurosci. 2009 Jul 22;29(29):9361-9. [PMID: 19625526]

Greco MA, Fuller PM, Jhou TC, Martin-Schild S, Zadina JE, Hu Z, Shiromani P, Lu J. Opioidergic projections to sleep-active neurons in the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus.

Brain Res. 2008 Dec 15;1245:96-107. Epub 2008 Sep 24. [PMID: 18840417]

Pedersen NP, Fuller PM, Lu J, Saper CB. In the flicker of an eye.

J Physiol. 2008 Jul 15;586(14):3305-6. [PMID: 18625803]

Fuller PM, Lu J, Saper CB. Differential rescue of light- and food-entrainable circadian rhythms.

Science. 2008 May 23;320(5879):1074-7. [PMID: 18497298]

Sukhotinsky I, Zalkind V, Lu J, Hopkins DA, Saper CB, Devor M. Neural pathways associated with loss of consciousness caused by intracerebral microinjection of GABA A-active anesthetics.
Eur J Neurosci. 2007 Mar;25(5):1417-36. [PMID: 17425568]

Sukhotinsky I, Reiner K, Govrin-Lippmann R, Belenky M, Lu J, Hopkins DA, Saper CB, Devor M. Projections from the mesopontine tegmental anesthesia area to regions involved in pain modulation.

J Chem Neuroanat. 2006 Dec;32(2-4):159-78. Epub 2006 Oct 16. [PMID: 17049433]

Lu J, Sherman D, Devor M, Saper CB. A putative flip-flop switch for control of REM sleep.

Nature. 2006 Jun 1;441(7093):589-94. Epub 2006 May 10. [PMID: 16688184]

Sukhotinsky I, Hopkins DA, Lu J, Saper CB, Devor M. Movement suppression during anesthesia: neural projections from the mesopontine tegmentum to areas involved in motor control.

J Comp Neurol. 2005 Sep 5;489(4):425-48. [PMID: 16025457]

Chou TC, Scammell TE, Gooley JJ, Gaus SE, Saper CB, Lu J. Critical role of dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus in a wide range of behavioral circadian rhythms.

J Neurosci. 2003 Nov 19;23(33):10691-702. [PMID: 14627654]

Zhang YH, Lu J, Elmquist JK, Saper CB. Specific roles of cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 in lipopolysaccharide-induced fever and Fos expression in rat brain.

J Comp Neurol. 2003 Aug 11;463(1):3-12. [PMID: 12811798]

Gooley JJ, Lu J, Fischer D, Saper CB. A broad role for melanopsin in nonvisual photoreception.

J Neurosci. 2003 Aug 6;23(18):7093-106. [PMID: 12904470]

Nelson LE, Lu J, Guo T, Saper CB, Franks NP, Maze M. The alpha2-adrenoceptor agonist dexmedetomidine converges on an endogenous sleep-promoting pathway to exert its sedative effects.

Anesthesiology. 2003 Feb;98(2):428-36. [PMID: 12552203]

Nelson LE, Guo TZ, Lu J, Saper CB, Franks NP, Maze M. The sedative component of anesthesia is mediated by GABA(A) receptors in an endogenous sleep pathway.

Nat Neurosci. 2002 Oct;5(10):979-84. [PMID: 12195434]

Lu J, Bjorkum AA, Xu M, Gaus SE, Shiromani PJ, Saper CB. Selective activation of the extended ventrolateral preoptic nucleus during rapid eye movement sleep.

J Neurosci. 2002 Jun 1;22(11):4568-76. [PMID: 12040064]

Chou TC, Bjorkum AA, Gaus SE, Lu J, Scammell TE, Saper CB. Afferents to the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus.

J Neurosci. 2002 Feb 1;22(3):977-90. [PMID: 11826126]

Gooley JJ, Lu J, Chou TC, Scammell TE, Saper CB. Melanopsin in cells of origin of the retinohypothalamic tract.

Nat Neurosci. 2001 Dec;4(12):1165. [PMID: 11713469]

Morra M, Lu J, Poy F, Martin M, Sayos J, Calpe S, Gullo C, Howie D, Rietdijk S, Thompson A, Coyle AJ, Denny C, Yaffe MB, Engel P, Eck MJ, Terhorst C. Structural basis for the interaction of the free SH2 domain EAT-2 with SLAM receptors in hematopoietic cells.

EMBO J. 2001 Nov 1;20(21):5840-52. [PMID: 11689425]

Chou TC, Lee CE, Lu J, Elmquist JK, Hara J, Willie JT, Beuckmann CT, Chemelli RM, Sakurai T, Yanagisawa M, Saper CB, Scammell TE. Orexin (hypocretin) neurons contain dynorphin.

J Neurosci. 2001 Oct 1;21(19):RC168. [PMID: 11567079]

Lu J, Zhang YH, Chou TC, Gaus SE, Elmquist JK, Shiromani P, Saper CB. Contrasting effects of ibotenate lesions of the paraventricular nucleus and subparaventricular zone on sleep-wake cycle and temperature regulation.

J Neurosci. 2001 Jul 1;21(13):4864-74. [PMID: 11425913]

Zhang YH, Lu J, Elmquist JK, Saper CB. Lipopolysaccharide activates specific populations of hypothalamic and brainstem neurons that project to the spinal cord.

J Neurosci. 2000 Sep 1;20(17):6578-86. [PMID: 10964963]

Lu J, Greco MA, Shiromani P, Saper CB. Effect of lesions of the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus on NREM and REM sleep.

J Neurosci. 2000 May 15;20(10):3830-42. [PMID: 10804223]

Greco MA, Lu J, Wagner D, Shiromani PJ. c-Fos expression in the cholinergic basal forebrain after enforced wakefulness and recovery sleep.

Neuroreport. 2000 Feb 28;11(3):437-40.[PMID: 10718290]

Shiromani PJ, Lu J, Wagner D, Thakkar J, Greco MA, Basheer R, Thakkar M. Compensatory sleep response to 12 h wakefulness in young and old rats.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2000 Jan;278(1):R125-33. [PMID: 10644630]

Lu J, Shiromani P, Saper CB. Retinal input to the sleep-active ventrolateral preoptic nucleus in the rat.

Neuroscience. 1999;93(1):209-14. [PMID: 10430484]

Lu J, Zoran MJ, Cassone VM. Daily and circadian variation in the electroretinogram of the domestic fowl: effects of melatonin.

J Comp Physiol A. 1995 Sep;177(3):299-306. [PMID: 7643319]


Fuller PM, Saper CB, Lu J. The pontine REM switch: past and present.
J Physiol. 2007 Nov 1;584(Pt 3):735-41. Epub 2007 Sep 20. Review. [PMID: 17884926]

Lu J, Greco MA. Sleep circuitry and the hypnotic mechanism of GABAA drugs.
J Clin Sleep Med. 2006 Apr 15;2(2):S19-26. Review. [PMID: 17557503]

Saper CB, Scammell TE, Lu J. Hypothalamic regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms.

Nature. 2005 Oct 27;437(7063):1257-63. Review. [PMID: 16251950]

Saper CB, Lu J, Chou TC, Gooley J. The hypothalamic integrator for circadian rhythms.
Trends Neurosci. 2005 Mar;28(3):152-7. Review. [PMID: 15749169]

Cassone VM, Warren WS, Brooks DS, Lu J. Melatonin, the pineal gland, and circadian rhythms.
J Biol Rhythms. 1993;8 Suppl:S73-81. Review. [PMID:8274765]

Other Publications

Fuller PM, Lu J (2008). Sleep and sleep states: hypothalamic regulation. In: The New Encyclopedia Neuroscience. Edited by Larry Squiire et al.

Fuller PM, Lu J (2008). Dopamine control of arousal.  In: The New Encyclopedia f Neuroscience. Edited by Larry Squiire et al.

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