Scientific Director, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience
Clinical Professor, University of California Davis
Lin Tian, PhD is a Scientific Director at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. The Tian Laboratory for Optical Neurophysiology engineers biosensors and optical probes for monitoring and controlling brain activity in living, behaving research animals. Dr. Tian and her team have developed and optimized calcium indicators for chronic recording of neural signaling and have recently created a novel class of genetically encoded indicators to sense neuromodulators, enabling the precise measurement of spatiotemporal dynamics of neuromodulator release. These tools, when combined with behavioral and circuit manipulations, can reveal the brain mechanisms underlying the control of various behaviors in health and disease and serve as drug discovery platforms for the identification of novel therapeutic targets.
Dr. Tian’s imaging techniques enable new types of biological experiments to address previously intractable questions, resulting in 4 patents for biosensor technology and GPCR screening methods. Through workshops and training programs at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Riken Center for Brain Science, Champalimaud Foundation, and others, she disseminates her reagents and protocols to the broader research community. Dr. Tian and her research have been recognized by the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, W.M. Keck Foundation Research Award, Human Frontier Science Program Young Investigator Grant, Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Award, Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Award, and NIH BRAIN Initiative grants.
Prior to joining MPFI, she was a Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Tian trained at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Janelia Research Campus as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Loren Looger, Dr. Karel Svoboda, and Dr. Luke Lavis. She completed her PhD at Northwestern University and a BA in Neuroscience from the University of Science and Technology of China.