John Yu-Luen Lin



I conducted my PhD study at University of Auckland under the supervision of Professor Janusz Lipski and Associate Professor Gregory Funk. My PhD studies focused on the functional characterizations of the neurons of the basal ganglia system with mainly electrophysiological techniques. I took up a short postdoctoral position under the supervision of Associate Professor Gary Tong at the Burnham Institute at San Diego before joining Professor Tsien’s lab in 2006. My current research interests include developing methods to manipulate and monitor the activities of neurons and studying single-molecule photophysical properties of fluorescent proteins.


2000-2005            Doctor of Philosophy in Physiology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

1996-1999            Bachelor of Technology (First class honours), University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand



Lin J.Y., Lin M.Z., Steinbach P. and Tsien R.Y. Characterization of engineered channelrhodopsin variants with improved properties and kinetics. (2009) Biophysical Journal. (In Press)

Sheng G., Chang G.Q., Lin J.Y., Yu Z.X., Fang Z.H., Rong J., Lipton S.A., Li S.H., Tong G., Leibowitz S.F., Li X.J. (2006) Hypothalamic huntingtin-associated protein 1 as a mediator of feeding behavior. Nature Medicine 12, 526-533

Lin J.Y., Chung K.K.H., de Castro D., Funk G.D. & Lipski J. (2004) Effects of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor activation on membrane currents and intracellular messengers in medium spiny neurones of the rat striatum. European Journal of Neuroscience 20, 1219-1230.

Teo M.-Y., van Wyk M., Lin J., and Lipski J. (2004) Differential effects of nicotine on the activity of Substantia Nigra and Ventral Tegmental Area dopaminergic neurons in vitro. Acta Neurobiologica Experimentalis 64, 119-130.

Lin J.Y., van Wyk M., Bowala T.K., Teo M.Y. & Lipski J. (2003) Dendritic projections and dye-coupling in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra examined in horizontal brain slices from young rats. Journal of Neurophysiology 90, 2531-2535.

Lin J.Y., Dubey R., Funk G.D. & Lipski J. (2003) Receptor subtype-specific modulation by dopamine of glutamatergic responses in striatal medium spiny neurons. Brain Research 959, 251-262.

Lipski J. Lin J.Y., Teo M.Y. & can Wyk M. (2002) The network vs. pacemaker theory of the activity of RVL presympathetic neurons – a comparison with another putative pacemaker system. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical 98, 85-89.

Lin J.Y. & Lipski J. (2001) Dopaminergic substantia nigra neurons express functional NMDA receptors in postnatal rats. Journal of Neurophysiology 85, 1336-1339.

During M.J., Symes C.W., Lawlor P.A., Lin J., Dunning J., Fitzsimons H.L., Poulsen D., Leone P., Xu R., Dicker B.L., Lipski J. & Young D. (2000) An oral vaccine against NMDAR1 with efficacy and experimental stroke and epilepsy. Science 287, 1453-1460.



2004 University of Auckland Graduate Research Fund – University of Auckland

2004 IBRO Asia-Pacific Region Travel grant - IBRO

2002 University of Auckland Research Fund – University of Auckland



2005-2008 FRST post-doctoral fellowship – Foundation of Research, Science and Technology in New Zealand



2004 Surdan Foundation Scholarship - MBL Neurobiology course

2004 Frank Morrell Endowed Memorial Scholarship - MBL Neurobiology course

2003-2004 University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship – University of Auckland

2000-2003 Bright Future Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarship – Foundation for Research Science & Technology, NZ

2000 University of Auckland Faculty of Science Postgraduate Student Award – University of Auckland

1999 University of Auckland Masters / Honours Scholarship – University of Auckland