Ming-Hu Han, PhD
img_Ming-Hu Han
ADJUNCT PROFESSOR | Pharmacological Sciences
Research Topics
Addiction, Behavioral Health, Depression, Motor Neuron, Neural Networks, Neurophysiology, Stress, Synapses, Synaptic Plasticity, Synaptogenesis, Systems Neuroscience
Multi-Disciplinary Training Area
Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics (DMT), Neuroscience [NEU]
One of the most fundamental functions of the brain is the capacity to develop adaptive changes in response to environmental stimuli under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. These neural adaptations can occur at a variety of levels such as at the levels of ion channels, synaptic transmission, and integrative function of neuron and neural network, and they are believed to be responsible for governing behavioral/psychological functioning. Dr. Han’s laboratory is specifically interested in identifying the intrinsic plasticity of ion channels and neuronal excitability, and adaptive changes in neural network, that are induced by psychological stress and alcohol in the dopamine circuit of the ventral tegmental area, an emotion- and reward-related system. Research in Dr. Han’s laboratory focuses on the underlying mechanisms of these neuroadpations and how they mediate behavioral susceptibility and resilience to stress and alcohol in laboratory models of depression and alcohol dependence.

To understand the roles of neuroadaptations in mediating behavioral changes, the laboratory employs an up-down-up methodology: established behavior model - neuroadaptation - molecular/ionic mechanism - molecular/ionic manipulation - validation of neuronal function - behavioral test. The laboratory uses in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological techniques to identify neuroadaptations and investigate molecular/ionic mechanisms, and employs advanced gene manipulation approaches, including viral-mediated gene delivery, local knockouts of interested genes, and optogenetic tools, to conduct molecular/ionic manipulation followed by behavioral assays. The combination of these gene manipulation techniques and neurophysiology offers the laboratory a unique ability to explore the neurophysiological basis of depression and alcoholism.
For more information, visit Ming-Hu Han’s Laboratory of Cellular Neurophysiology.

Conte Center on Epigenetic Mechanisms of Depression

PhD, Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University School of Medicine

Faculty Fellowship, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Faculty Council Senior Faculty Award for Academic Excellence

Icahn School Of Medicine At Mount Sinai


Fellow of the ACNP

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology


Fellow of the CINP

The International College of Neuropsychopharmacology


NAMI-New York State Excellence in Research Award

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), New York State


NARSAD Independent Investigator Award

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation


Faculty Council Award for Academic Excellence

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai


Dr. Harold & Golden Lamport Research Award for Excellence in Basic Science Research

Mount Sinai School of Medicine


Rising Star Translational Research Award

Johnson & Johnson and International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO)


Travel Award

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP)


Young Investigator Award

National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD)

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Han has not yet completed reporting of Industry relationships.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.