Qingchun Tong, PhD
Principal Investigator
B.S.: Anhui Normal University, China, 1996
M.S.: Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1999
PhD: SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 2003
Postdoctoral training: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, 2003-2008
Started lab in 2009

Yuanzhong Xu, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 2014
Research Fellow: University of Verona, 2009
PhD: Universita degli Studi di Verona & Central South University, 2007
Joined in February 2010

Jin-Bin Tian, PhD
Assistant Professor
Postdoctoral training: Ohio State University 2005
PhD Neuroscience: Peking University Health Science Center 1998
B.S. Biology: Tianjin Normal University
Joined lab 2018

Yungang Lu, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Postdoctoral training: MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2014
PhD: University of Science and Technology of China, 2009
B.S. Biophysics: University of Science and Technology of China, 2002

Leandra Mangieri, MS
Graduate Research Assistant
M.S. Biology: University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2012
B.S. Biology: University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2010
Joined in Summer 2014
Leandra’s research in the Tong lab focuses on brain circuits that regulate feeding, compulsive, and stress-related behaviors. The overarching goal of her research is to illuminate how the brain functions normally to control these diverse behaviors and abnormally in certain psychiatric diseases. Outside of the lab, she enjoys biking, listening to audiobooks, outdoor adventures, music festivals, and taking care of two very spoiled and demanding cats. She also plays virtual reality video games, which are quite immersive and awesome!

Ryan Cassidy
MD/PhD Research Assistant
B.A. Anthropology, UT Austin 2013
B.S. Computational Biology, UT Austin 2013
Joined in August 2016
Ryan’s primary focus in the lab is in understanding the ways in which reward-seeking behavior and feeding behavior intersect to cause overeating and obesity. He hopes to pursue residency in psychiatry and translate our understanding of these brain mechanisms into behavioral and pharmacological therapies for patients who overeat. Outside of lab, he enjoys running, hiking, board games (with 30+ in his collection) and PC gaming.

Xugen Huang, PhD
Visiting Scholar
Joined in September 2017
Xugen’s primary interest in the lab is in understanding ways to improve exercise by using various mouse models with improved O2 supply.

Canjun Zhu
Visiting Scholar
Joined in October 2017
Canjun’s primary interest in the lab is to understand stress-related body weight gain and basic mechanism underlying leptin resistance.