Yueqing Peng, PhD

Yueqing Peng, PhD

Research Interest

Research Summary

Why do we need sleep? How are sleep states initiated, maintained, and ended? How does sleep and sleep loss impact normal brain functions? What roles does sleep play in neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases? The goal of our research is to understand the circuit, cellular, and molecular mechanisms underlying sleep regulation in both normal and diseased brains.

We use a multidisciplinary approach including electrophysiology, calcium imaging, optogenetics, chemogenetics, pharmacology, viral-based neural tracing, molecular biology, and mouse genetics to study the neurobiology of sleep. In collaboration with other faculty members at Columbia, we are also interested in understanding the relationship between sleep abnormalities and neurological/psychiatric disorders. Specifically, we focus on epilepsy and mood disorders. We aim to identify common neuropathological mechanisms underlying abnormal sleep and brain diseases. 

Current interests in the lab include: 1) dissecting brain circuits that control sleep and wakefulness; 2) the mechanisms that underlie sleep-dependent memory consolidation; 3) examining how sleep deprivation affects brain functions and animal behaviors. 4) examining the role of sleep and sleep circuits in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as epilepsy and depression.

  • BS, 2001 Biology, Nanjing University (China)
  • PhD, 2008 Neurobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai (China)
  • Postdoc, 2009 University of California, San Diego
  • Postdoc, 2017 Columbia University

2012-present, Member, Society for Neuroscience, U.S.A.

Shore AN, Colombo S, Tobin WF, Petri S, Cullen ER, Dominguez S, Bostick CD, Beaumont MA, Williams D, Khodagholy D, Yang M, Lutz CM, Peng Y, Gelinas JN, Goldstein DB, Boland MJ, Frankel WN, Weston MC (2020). Reduced GABAergic neuron excitability, altered synaptic connectivity, and seizures in a KCNT1 gain-of-function mouse model of childhood epilepsy. Cell Reports 33(4), 108303.

Colombo S, Petri S, Shalomov B, Reddy HP, Tabak G, Dhindsa RS, Gelfman S, Teng S, Krizay D, Rafikian EE, Bera AK, Yang M, Boland MJ, Peng Y, Frankel WN, Dascal N, Goldstein DB. (2019) G protein-coupled potassium channels implicated in mouse and cellular models of GNB1 Encephalopathy. BioRXiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/697235.

Wang L, Gillis-Smith S, Peng Y, Zhang J, Chen X, Salzman CD, Ryba NJ, Zuker CS. (2018). The coding of valence and identity in the mammalian taste system. Nature 558(7708), 127-131.

Yarmolinsky DA, Peng Y, Pogorzala LA, Rutlin M, Hoon MA, Zuker CS. (2016) Coding and plasticity in the mammalian thermosensory system. Neuron 92(5), 1079-92.

Peng Y, Gillis-Smith S, Jin H, Tränkner D, Ryba NJ, Zuker CS. (2015). Sweet and bitter taste in the brain of awake behaving animals. Nature 527(7579), 512-5.

Chen X, Gabitto M, Peng Y, Ryba NJ, Zuker CS. (2011). A gustotopic map of taste qualities in the mammalian brain. Science, 333(6047), 1262-6.

Lu S, Fang J, Guo A, Peng Y. (2009) Impact of network topology on decision-making. Neural Networks. 22(1), 30-40.

Peng Y, Xi W, Zhang W, Zhang K, Guo A. (2007) Experience improves feature extraction in Drosophila. Journal of Neuroscience. 27, 5139-5145.

Peng Y, Guo A. (2007) Novel stimulus-induced calcium efflux in Drosophila mushroom bodies. European Journal of Neuroscience. 25(7), 2034-44.

Zhang K, Guo JZ, Peng Y, Xi W, Guo A. (2007) Dopamine-mushroom body circuit regulates saliency-based decision-making in Drosophila. Science. 316(5833), 1901-4.

For a complete list of publications, please visit: MyBibliography

For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov

  • Sasa Teng, Postdoc
  • Fenghua (Fiona) Zhen, Postdoc
  • Chana Rosenthal-Weiss, Technician
  • Xinyue (Tracy) Chen, Graduate student
  • Elaine Zhu, Undergraduate
  • Jia Jun Joel Wen, Undergraduate
  • Neurobiology of Sleep 
  • Epilepsy/Psychiatric Disorders 


  • Bystander Intervention Training, January 2024 (Columbia Sexual Violence Response Office)