Our Team

Sheng Photo
Zu-Hang Sheng, PhD

Senior Investigator

Chief of Synaptic Function Section, NINDS

PhD (1993): Biochemistry and Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine





Yuxiang Xie, PhD

Staff Scientist, Lab Manager 

PhD (2006): Biophysics, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science.

Research Interest: The role the autophagy-lysosome pathway and mitochondrial energy metabolism in neurodegenerative diseases and in vivo system-level analyses of diseased mouse models.



Gui-Jing Xiong, PhD               

Research Fellow

PhD (2014): Neuroscience, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Research Interest: Defective axonal organelle transport and synaptic dysfunction in neurological disorders.



Sunan Li, PhD

Research Scientist

PhD (2015): Environmental Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Maryland

Research Interest: Mechanisms regulating synaptic mitochondrial anchoring and synaptoenergetics in health and neurological disorders.

Xiu-Tang Cheng, MD/PhD

Staff Scientist

MD (2011): Medicine, Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine

PhD (2016): Neuroscience, NIH - Shanghai Jiao-Tong University Joint PhD Program

Research Interest: Mechanisms underlying aging-associated axonal energy metabolism in neurodegenerative diseases.

Joseph C Roney, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD (2021): Biomedical Sciences (Cell Biology), the University of Oxford, UK 

Research Interest: The role of inter-organelle contact and cross talk in axonal energy metabolism

Hriday S Pandey, PhD                      

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD (2022): Neuroscience, National Brain Research Centre, India

Research Interest: The Glia-neuron transcellular signaling in the maintenance of energy metabolism at synapses.

Blaine Connor, PhD                      

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD (2022): Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University

Research Interest: Mechanisms regulating organelle and membrane protein transport to distal axons and mitochondrial anchoring to maintain local energy metabolism, axon growth, and recovery following pathological stress.

Yifei Gao


Yifei Gao, PhD 

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD (2021): Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Life Science, Tsinghua University, China

Research Interest: Phase separation regulating axonal transport and energy metabolism. 



Aditi S Kulkarni, BA

MD-PhD student through the NIH-OxCam and University of Minnesota

BA (2017): Swarthmore College

MD in Progress (2020-): University of Minnesota

PhD candidate: Joint NIH-University of Cambridge GPP

Research Interest: Maintenance of axonal energy metabolism in neuronal regeneration. 

Geetika Y Patwardhan, BS

Post-Baccalaureate IRTA Fellow

BS (2022): Molecular Cell Biology, the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa

Research Interest: Defects in the endolysosomal system in neurodegenerative diseases.

Alexandre R Sathler, BS

Post-Baccalaureate IRTA Fellow

BS (2022): Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oregon State University

Research Interest: The role of Mitochondrial Trafficking in Neuronal Plasticity.