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2016.6--present: Associate Research Professor, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University,
2012.3--2016.5: Associate Research Scientist, Department of Neuroscience, University of Arizona
2004.4--2012.2: Staff Scientist, Department of Neuroscience, University of Arizona
My research is generally focused on how animal's nervous systems acquire information from environment, process that information, and ultimately use that information to guide corresponding behaviors. More specifically, I am interested in how sensory signals are transformed by neural circuits as the signals pass through different synaptic levels from the early stage of peripheral and central processing to higher-order stages of integration and perception. I have used two insects, the hawkmoth and the honeybee, as animal model to gain insights on the neurobiological mechanisms of olfactory signal processing. My research projects are diverse and multidisciplinary, benefiting from close collaborations with mathematicians, electric engineers and chemists.
Lei H, Yu YX, Zhu SF, Rangan AV (2016) Intrinsic and network mechanisms constrain neural synchrony in the moth antennal lobe. Frontiers in Physiology 7:80 (doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00080)
Ma, ZY, Guo XJ, Lei H et al. (2015) Octopamine and tyramine respectively regulate attractive and repulsive behavior in locust phase changes. Scientific Reports 5: 8036 (doi:10.1038/srep08036).
Capurro A, Baroni F, Kuebler LS et al. (2014) Temporal features of spike trains in the moth antennal lobe revealed by a comparative time-frequency analysis. PlosOne 9(1): e84037.
Lei H, Chiu H-Y, Hildebrand JG (2013) Responses of protocerebral neurons in Manduca sexta to sex-pheromone mixtures. J Comp Physiol A 199(11): 997-1014 (DOI 10.1007/s00359-013-0844-4)
Martin JP, Lei H, Riffell JA, Hildebrand JG (2013) Synchronous firing of antennal-lobe projection neurons encodes the behaviorally effective ratio of sex-pheromone components in male Manduca sexta. J Comp Physiol A 199(11): 963-979 (DOI 10.1007/s00359-013-0849-z)
Riffell JA, Lei H, Abrell L, Hildebrand JG (2012) Neural basis of a pollinator’s buffet: olfactory specialization and learning in the Manduca sexta moth. Science 339: 200-204 DOI: 10.1126/science.1225483)
Lei H, Reisenman CE, Wilson CH, Gabbur P, Hildebrand JG (2011) Spiking patterns and their functional implications in the antennal lobe of the Tobacco Hornworm Manduca sexta. PlosOne 6(8): e23382. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023382
Lei H, Riffell JA, Gage SL, Hildebrand JG (2009) Contrast enhancement of stimulus intermittency in a primary olfactory network and its behavioral significance. J Biol 8: 21 (doi:10.1186/jbiol120)
Riffell JA, Lei H, Christensen TA, Hildebrand JG (2009) Characterization and coding of behaviorally significant odor mixtures. Current Biol 19: 335-340
Riffell JA. Lei H, Hildebrand JG (2009) Neural correlates of behavior in the moth Manduca sexta in response to complex odors. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106: 19219-19226
Lei H, Christensen TA, Hildebrand JG (2004) Spatial and temporal organization of ensemble
representations for different odor classes in the moth antennal lobe. J Neurosci 24(49): 11108-11119
Daly K, Christensen TA, Lei H, Smith B, Hildebrand JG (2004) Learning modulates the ensemble representations for odors in primary olfactory networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101: 10476-10481
Christensen TA, Lei H, Hildebrand JG (2003) Coordination of central odor representations through transient, non-oscillatory synchronization of glomerular output neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100: 11076-11081
Lei H, Christensen TA, Hildebrand JG (2002) Local inhibition modulates odor-evoked synchronization of glomerulus-specific output neurons. Nature Neurosci 5: 557-565
Lei H, Anton S, Hansson BS (2001) Olfactory protocerebral pathways processing sex pheromone and plant odor information in the male moth Agrotis segetum. J Comp Neurol 432: 356-370
Lei H, van Lenteren JC, Xu RM (2001) Effects of plant tissue factors on the acceptance of four greenhouse vegetable host plants by the greenhouse whitefly: an Electrical Penetration Graph (EPG) study. Eur J Entomol 98: 31-36.
Christensen TA, Pawlowski VM, Lei H, Hildebrand JG (2000) Multi-unit recordings reveal context-dependent modulation of synchrony in odor-specific neural ensembles. Nature Neurosci 3: 927-931
Lei H, Hansson BS (1999) Central processing of pulsed pheromone signals by antennal lobe interneurons in the male moth Agrotis segetum. J Neurophysiol 81: 1113-1122
Lei H, van Lenteren JC. Tjallingii WF (1999) Analysis of tomato and sweet pepper resistance against the greenhouse whitefly through electrically monitored and visually observed probing and feeding behaviour. Entomol Exp Appl 92: 299-309
Jiang YX, Lei H, Collar JL, Martin B, Muniz M, Fereres A (1999) Probing and feeding behavior of two distinct biotypes of Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera : Aleyrodidae) on tomato plants. J Eco Entomol 92: 357-366
Lei H, Tjallingii WF, van Lenteren JC (1998) Probing and feeding characteristics of the greenhouse whitefly in association with host-plant acceptance and whitefly strains. Entomol Exp Appl 88: 73-80
Lei H, Tjallingii WF, van Lenteren JC (1997) Effect of tethering during EPG recorded probing by adults of the greenhouse whitefly. J Appl Entomol 121: 211-217
Lei H, Xu RM, Tjallingii WF, van Lenteren JC (1997) Electrical penetration graphs of Greenhouse Whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood). Acta Entomol Sinica 41: 113-123
Lei H, Tjallingii WF, van Lenteren JC, Xu RM (1996) Stylet penetration by larvae of greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westw.) on cucumber. Entomol Exp Appl 79: 77-84
Lei H, Xu R (1996) EPG–an effective technique to study probing behavior of homopteran insects. Entomological Knowledge 33: 116-120 (in Chinese)
Lei H, Xu RM (1995) Cellular and chemical sampling during phloem finding and host-plant acceptance by homopteran insects. Entomologia Sinica 2: 145-162
Lei H, Xu R (1995) Insect's orientation to host plant by olfactory cues. Bull Biol 30: 9-11 (in Chinese)
Lei H, Xu R (1993) Studies on honeydew excretion by greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westw.) on its host plant, Cucumis sativas. J Appl Entomol 115: 43-51
Lei H, Xu RM (1993) The chain process of feeding behavior of homopteran insects. Bull Biol 12: 12-15 (in Chinese)
Reisenman CE, Lei H and Guarenstein PG (2016) Neuroethology of olfactory-guided behavior and its potential application in the control of harmful insects. Frontiers in Physiology (being reviewed).
Martin JP, Beyerlein A, Dacks AM, Reisenman CE, Riffell JA, Lei H, Hildebrand JG (2011) The neurobiology of insect olfaction: Sensory processing in a comparative context. Prog in Neurobiol 95: 427-447
Lei H, Oland LA, Riffell JA, Beyerlein A, Hildebrand JG (2010) Microcircuits for olfactory Information processing in the antennal lobe of Manduca sexta. In: Gordon Shepherd (ed.) Handbook of Brain Circuits, pp.415-426, Oxford University Press
Dacks AM, Guerenstein PG, Reisenman CE, Martin JP, Lei H, Hildebrand JG (2009) Olfaction in invertebrates: Manduca. In: Squire LR (ed.) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, volume 7, pp. 49-57. Oxford: Academic Press
Lei H, Vickers N (2008) Central processing of natural odor mixtures in insects J Chem Ecol 34: 915-927
Lei H, Qiu YT, Christensen TA (2005) Olfaction in insects: structural correlates of function. In: Kang L and Liu TX (eds.), Entomological Research: Progress and Prospect. Science Press, Beijing, China
Pawlowski VM, Christensen TA, Lei H, Hildebrand JG (2004) A primer on multichannel neural ensemble recording in insects. In: Christensen TA (ed), New Frontiers in Insect Neuroscience, CRC Press
Lei H, Tjallingii WF, van Lenteren JC (1996) Recording of EPGs and honeydew excretion by the greenhouse whitefly. In: Gerling D, Mayer RT (eds), Bemisia 1995: taxonomy, biology, ecology, control and management. Andover Intercept
Lei H, Xu R (1991) Honeydew excretion of greenhouse whitefly and impairment to host plant. In: Eco. Soc. CN. (Ed.), Advances of Ecology in China
NSF Collaborative Research: Investigation of Odor-triggered Neuronal Dynamics and
Experience-induced Olfactory Learning. Funding source: $488,678 from NSF DMS; Principal Investigators: Aaditya Rangan (Courant Institute, New York University) and Hong Lei (Department of Neuroscience, University of Arizona), 2012-16
University of Arizona: Dynamical Modeling and Analysis of Olfactory Decision-making Circuit in Manduca sexta. Center for Insect Science, University of Arizona, 2010-11. Funding: $10,000; Role: principal investigator
CAS Major International (Regional) Joint Research Project: Olfactory and molecular mechanisms underlying aggregation behavioral plasticity in Locusta migratoria. Funding source: $557,142 from NSF China; Principal Investigators: Kang Le (Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Hong Lei (Department of Neuroscience, University of Arizona), 2013-16
Invited academic seminars:
Lei H, December 15, 2015. Neurobiological mechanisms of olfactory behaviors: a case study in a sphinx moth. Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, China
Lei H, December 12, 2015. Neurobiological mechanisms of olfactory behaviors: a case study in a sphinx moth. Huanan Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Chinn
Lei H, October 25-27, 2014. Odor mixture processing in the olfactory system of a moth. The 10th Conference of the Chinese Association of Chemical Ecology. Nanchang, China.
Lei H, July 11-16, 2013. Neurobiological mechanisms of chemical Communication in a Moth. The 4th Annual Workshop on Theories and Technologies in Insect Science. Beijing, China.
Lei H, September 9, 2013. Applications of chemoreception principles in insect quarantine and inspection. The 2nd Annual International Conference of Inspection and Quarantine in China. Beijing, China.
Lei H, July 20, 2012. A new understanding of inhibitory mechanisms that shape neuronal responses in the antennal lobe of Manduca sexta. International Symposium on Olfaction in Insects under Debate: from Receptors to Behavior. University of Wuerzburg, Germany.
Lei H, Oct.9-11, 2011. GABAergic feedback pathway underlying intermittency coding in moth antennal lobe. The 1st China-US Symposium on Insect Chemical Communication. Beijing Institute of Life Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Lei H, Oct.12-15, 2011. Preservation and enhancement of stimulus intermittency in moth antennal lobe. The 6th Asian-Pacific Conference of Chemical Ecology. Beijing, China.
Lei H, Feb 22, 2011. Homeostatic maintenance of intermittency coding in antennal lobe. DFG-Schwerpunkt-meeting. University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany.
Lei H, July, 2010. Dynamical regulation of an insect olfactory circuit in response to a wide range of odor concentrations. Dynamical Olfactory Workshop. Brighton, UK.
Lei H, July, 2008. Probing a neural code for the stimulus intermittency of natural olfactory stimulus. Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Lei H, July, 2008. Probing a neural code for the stimulus intermittency of natural olfactory stimulus. Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, China
Lei H, July 22-26, 2007, Deciphering a neural code for stimulus intermittency. 23rd ISCE Annual Meeting of International Society of Chemical Ecology. Jena, Germany.
Lei H, 2005. Pharmacological dissection of the inhibitory interactions in the glomerular network of the moth, Manduca sexta. 9th European Symposium for Insect Taste and Olfaction (9th E.S.I.T.O.) September 24-30, 2005 – Villasimius (Cagliari), Italy
Lei H, 2005-7-5. Olfactory information processing in a moth brain: an example of integration of spatial and temporal coding mechanisms. Host: Dr. Luo, Minmin, Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
Lei H, 2005-7-11. Central processing of olfactory information in the antennal lobes of the tobacco hawk moth, Manduca sexta. Host: Prof. Yuan, WuZou, College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China
Lei H, 2005-7-7. Neural mechanisms for processing dynamic odor stimuli in the antennal lobe of Manduca sexta. Host: Dr. Wang, ChenZhu, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Lei H, 2003. Central coding of olfactory information through transient non-oscillatory synchronization. XXV AChemS Annual Meeting, Sarasota, FL
Lei H, van Lenteren JC, Tjallingii WF, 1998. Analysis of resistance in tomato and sweet pepper against the greenhouse whitefly through electrically monitored and visually observed probing and feeding behavior. 2nd International Workshop on Bemisia and Geminiviruses. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Lei H, Tjallingii WF, van Lenteren JC, 1996. Recent studies on whitefly’s EPG. EPG Summer School, Lyon, France
Lei H, Yu YX, Hildebrand JG and Rangan A, 2014. Both Instrinsic and circuit mechansisms regulate the afterhyperpolarization phase of projection neurons in the moth antennal lobe. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA, Nov.15-19, 2014.
Fletcher J, Zhang JL, Hildebrand JG, Lei H, 2014. Single-cell recordings to elucidate neuronal dynamics of pheromone detection in Manduca sexta. 2014 Pacific Branch Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, Tucson, AZ, USA.
Lei H, Martin JP, Riffell JA, Chiu HY and Hildebrand JG 2013 Neuronal synchrony as a mechanism to encode concentration ratios in the olfactory system of Manduca sexta. The 35th AChemS Annual Meeting, April 16-20, 2013, Huntington Beach, CA, USA.
Lei H, Chiu HY and Hildebrand JG 2010 Dynamic control of odor-induced responses to a wide range of odor concentrations. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA.
Lei H, Reisenman C, Wilson C, Gabbur P, and Hildebrand JG 2008 Spike bursting as an indicator for neuronal sensitivity in an insect olfactory network. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA
Lei H, Riffell JA, Gage S, Hildebrand JG 2007 Odor-source seeking behavior of Manduca sexta is disrupted by pharmacological manipulation of projection neurons’ capability to follow intermittent stimuli. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.
Lei H, Reisenman C, Christensen TA and Hildebrand JG 2004 Lateral inhibition: it makes scents as a neuronal coding strategy in olfaction. XXVI AChemS conference, Sarasota, FL.
Lei H, Christensen TA and Hildebrand JG 2003 Spatiotemporal dynamics of olfactory ensemble coding in the antennal lobe of the moth Manduca sexta. 33rd Annual Meeting of Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA.
Lei H, Christensen TA, Pawlowski VM and Hildebrand JG 2002 Analysis of odor selectivity in the moth antennal lobe using neural-ensemble recording. XXIV AChemS conference, Sarasota, FL.
Christensen TA, Lei H and Hildebrand JG 2002 Parallel mapping of multiple stimulus features using multichnnel recording arrays in the insect antennal lobe. XXIV AChemS conference, Sarasota, FL.
Lei H, Christensen TA, Collemann CC, Pawlowski VM, Nighorn A and Hildebrand JG 2001 Nitric oxide modulates odor-evoked activity patterns in the glomeruli of the moth antennal lobe. XXIII AchemS conference, Sarasota, FL.
Lei H, Christensen TA, Wilson CH and Hildebrand JG 2001 Effects of interglomerular interactions on odor representations in the moth antennal lobe. 31st Annual Meeting of Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, LA.
Lei H, Christensen TA, Pawlowski VM and Hildebrand JG 2000. Odor-evoked synchronization of olfactory networks: Comparison of output neurons innervating the same and different glomeruli in the antennal lobe of male Manduca Sexta. 30th Annual Meeting of Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
Daly KC, Christensen TA, Pawlowski VM, Lei H, Smith BH and Hildebrand JG 2000 Olfactory discrimination in Manduca sexta: Differential conditioning produces evolution of odor-specific neural ensemble patterns in the antennal lobe. 30th Annual Meeting of Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
Lei H, Christensen TA and Hildebrand JG 2000 Transient synchrony of output neurons evoked by stimulation in Manduca sexta. XXII AchemS conference, Sorasota, Florida.
Hildebrand JG, Christensen TA, Mechaber W, Willis M, Cray J, Lei H, Pawlowski VM, Crary S, Najuli K, Smith BH and Daly K 2000 Olfactory control of insect flight behavior – Strategic exploitation of a controlled biological system. III DARPA CBS conference, San Antonio, TX.
Lei H and Hansson BS, Aug 1998 Central processing of pulsatile pheromone signal in male Agrotis segetum. The 5th International Congress of Neuroethology. Aug. 22-28, San Diego, California.
Lei H and Hansson BS, May 1998 How is a pulsatile signal processed in moth CNS? The 2nd Neuroscience Day in Lund University, Sweden.
Lei H and Hansson BS, April 1998 Central processing of pulsed pheromone signals by antennal lobe interneurons in male Agrotis segetum. The 2nd International Symposium on Insect Pheromones, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Lei H and Hansson BS, September 1997 Resolution of pheromone pulses in antennal lobe interneurons of the male turnip moth, Agrotis segetum. The 5th International conference on Invertebrate Neurochemistry & Neurophysiology (ICINN), Eilat, Israel.
Lei H and Hansson BS, May 1997. Dynamic response to sex pheromone pulses in antennal lobe interneurons of the male turnip moth, Agrotis segetum. Neuroscience Day in Lund University, Sweden.
Lei H and Hansson BS 1997 Pulsed plant odors as orientation cues to plant source by turnip moth. The 39th Symposium of British Ecology Society. Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Lei H and Van Lenteren 1995 Tomato resistance against the greenhouse whitefly. IOBC workshop, Arhnem, The Netherlands.
Lei H and Xu R, 1992 Relationships of feeding behaviors and honeydew production of greenhouse whitefly on food plants. The XIX International Conference of Entomology. Beijing, China.
Lei H and Xu R, 1991. Honeydew excretion of greenhouse whitefly and impairment on host plant. The 4th National Congress of Ecology Society of China. Nanjing, China.
2012-2016, adjunct faculty, Pima Community College, teaching Introductory Human Anatomy and Physiology, General Biology
2014 University of Arizona Service Award
2013 AAFSAA (Asian American Faculty Staff Alumni Association of University of Arizona) Outstanding Community Service Award
2009 Arizona Research Laboratories Service Award
2009 University of Arizona Service Award
1995-96 Multinational research fellowship from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery and Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands
1992-93 International exchange fellowship from the Dutch Academy of Art and Science (KNAW), The Netherlands
Editorial Board of Frontiers in Chemical Ecology
Editorial Board of Frontiers in Invertebrate Physiology
Associate Faculty of 1000 Biology
Member, Society of Neuroscience Member, International Society of Chemical Ecology Member, Association for Chemoreception Sciences
Broad Impact services
2016/03 Electroantennogram demonstration. Arizona Book Festival. Tucson, AZ
2015/09 Electroantennogram demonstration. The 5th Annual Arizona Insect Festival.
2015/03 Electroantennogram demonstration. Arizona Book Festival. Tucson, AZ
2014/09 Electroantennogram demonstration. The 4th Annual Arizona Insect Festival.
2014/09 From Micro Brain to Macro Science. Lulu Walker Elementary School.
2014/04 Electroantennogram demonstration. Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) STEM Night at Mansfeld Middle School, Tucson, AZ
2013/04 Electroantennogram demonstration. Drexel Elemental School. Tucson, AZ
2013/03 Electroantennogram demonstration. Arizona Book Festival. Tucson, AZ
2005/12 Tucson Chinese Cultural Center/Tucson Chinese School, Tucson, AZ
2005 Junior Scientists Day, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
2005 Brain Awareness Week, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
2001/05 Science Outreach at Gwiz Science Center, organized by AChemS, Sarasota, FL
2003/04 Science Fair judge for SS. Peter and Paul elementary school, Tucson, AZ
2004 Classroom Helper at Hughes Elementary School, Tucson, AZ
2001/02 Science Outreach at Hand in Hand Preschool, Tucson, AZ
2015/05 Volunteer instructor in neuroscience and cognitive science (NSCS) summer boot camp of University of Arizona
2014/05 Volunteer instructor in neuroscience and cognitive science (NSCS) summer boot camp of University of Arizona
2012- Member of the International Student Work Group of the International Student Services (ISS) University of Arizona
2009-2016 Faculty advisor for the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars of University of Arizona
2010 Facilitated the signing of a Letter of Intent between the University of Arizona (Vice Provost Office for Outreach Global Initiative) and the Wenzhou Medical College, China.
2009 Facilitated the signing of a Letter of Intent between the Department of Neuroscience, University of Arizona and the Beijing Institute of Life Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
2008 Facilitated the signing of a Letter of Intent between Center for Insect Science (CIS), University of Arizona (U of A) and Wenzhou Medical College (WMC), China;
Research mentorship/co-mentorship*: As a senior member, I have mentored/co-mentored more than 30 undergraduate research assistants, visiting scholars, graduate students and postdocs.