Research Interests

Since mid-90's Dr. Hee-Sup Shin's group has pioneered in applying molecular genetics to studying neural mechanisms for animal behaviors, primarily focusing on defining the role of the thalamus. His approach to this objective was by elucidating the physiological consequences of deranged regulation of intracellular Ca2+ level in neuronal cells, because proper regulation of the cytoplasmic Ca2+ level is critical for neuronal functions. Three groups of genes were targeted: voltage-gated Ca2+ channels for Ca2+ entry into the cells, phospholipaseC? enzymes inducing Ca2+ release from internal stores upon activation of metabotrophic receptors, and Na+/Ca2+ exchangers driving Ca2+ out to restore the resting Ca2+ level. He utilizes a wide range of techniques, including molecular genetics, physiology in vivo and in vitro, optogenetics, and behaviors. Beginning in 2010 his group's research focus has been evolved to studying the neurobiology of social behaviors, with an emphasis on empathy.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 24: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience