Mao Lab

Assistant Scientist and Principal Investigator: Tianyi Mao

Lab Phone Number:

(503) 494-9285

Faculty Support

Ruth Frank
Administrative Coordinator
Phone: (503) 494-0517

Mailing Address

Tianyi Mao Lab
Vollum Institute, L474
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd.
Portland, OR 97239-3098

Lab Opportunities

The research mission of the Mao Lab is to gain mechanistic understanding of the neural circuitry underlying motor control and sensori-motor integration in both normal and motor deficient animals. We value high quality science, collaboration and career development for young scientists. RO1 funded postdoctoral fellow positions are currently available. We also encourage graduate students and undergraduate students who are excited by our research to contact us. Please email Tianyi Mao () with any inquiries.

Striatal cortex axonal projectionsA Comprehensive Thalamocortical Projection Map at the Mesoscopic Level

The Mao Lab used modern viral tracing techniques and high-speed imaging to label thalamic projections and image their cortical targets from 75 brains with 254 injections. A comprehensive thalamocortical projection map, with a quantitative description of the thalamic origin of 19 cortical targets is presented.
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Current Lab Members

Tianyi Mao, PhDTianyi Mao, Assistant Scientist and Principal Investigator

After earning her BS in Biological Science and Biotechnology at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China in 1997, Mao received her PhD in Neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2005. She did postdoctoral research at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and then at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Farm Research Campus. Mao was appointed as an assistant scientist at the Vollum Institute in September 2010.


Clayton CollinsClayton Collins, Research Assistant

Clayton graduated from Whitman College in 2015 with degrees in BBMB (Biophysics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology) and Music. At Whitman, he studied the properties of microglia during development. In the Mao lab he examines circuits innervating the subventricular zone, as well as other areas. His interests outside of the lab include spaghetti dinners, jazz music, and the Wild Waves Theme Park.


Bart JongbloetsBart Jongbloets, Postdoc

Bart joined the Mao lab in summer 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow. He earned his PhD at the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, Department of Translational Neuroscience, in Utrecht, the Netherlands. During his graduate studies he identified novel roles for Semaphorin 7A, an axon guidance protein, in the adult brain. By combining his expertise in biochemistry and genetics with electrophysiology, optogenetics and 2-photon imaging, Bart will investigate the heterogeneity of functional circuitry in the striatum. Outside the lab, Bart enjoys testing new cooking protocols and kitesurfing in the wind and waves off the Oregon coast.


Maozhen QinMaozhen Qin, Lab Manager

Maozhen obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing in China and has been working as a research assistant since 2008. She joined the Mao lab in 2011 where she quickly became the "go-to" person for genotyping, culturing slices, performing animal surgeries, and maintaining the inventory of lab supplies. Outside of work, Maozhen enjoys camping and hiking.

Lab Alumni

Name Years in Lab Lab Position Current Position
Jessica Li 2011 Summer student Undergraduate Student, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University
Deniz Kusefoglu 2010–2012 Master thesis student  
Brian Long 2010–2013 Postdoc Scientist, Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle
Jian Qiu 2012–2013 Postdoc Research Assistant Professor, Physiology & Pharmacology, OHSU
Nicole Vollum 2013 Student Undergraduate Student, Reed College, Portland
Barbara Jeannie Hunnicutt 2011–2015 Graduate Student