Xue Han, PhD

Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Xue Han
44 Cummington St


Dr. Han received a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her Postdoctoral training with Dr. Bob Desimone at MIT, and Drs. Tirin Moore and Richard Tsien at Stanford University. Over the past decade, Dr. Han has trained 9 Ph.D. students, 5 postdoctoral fellows, and mentored over 70 undergraduate students for lab research. More than half of them are women or underrepresented minorities. She is currently mentoring 13 Ph.D. students, including one underrepresented minority and 8 women. She was awarded the Mentor of The Year award by Boston University Graduate Women in Science and Engineering. Dr. Han holds two granted patents with more pending and authored over 70 peer reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings. She and her students and postdoctoral trainees have given over 100 oral presentations. She has been recognized by many distinguished awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the NIH New Innovator Award, the Pew Scholarship, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and the Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship.

Dr. Xue Han’s seminal contribution to the field of neuroengineering centers on the invention and application of high impact molecular neurotechnologies to probe brain dynamics. She played an instrumental role in the development of optogenetic silencing molecules archaerhodopsins and halorhodopsins, enabling temporal precise silencing of specific neurons, some of the most widely used molecular tools in neuroscience, in use by thousands of research groups. Her contribution to optogenetics was crucial in establishing the new field of optogenetics, a field now being widely regarded as having revolutionized neuroscience research. In addition to her breakthrough discovery of the now widely used optogenetic molecular reagents, Dr. Han developed many other innovative technologies, including novel voltage imaging tools, cell type specific gene therapy viral vectors, drug releasing DNA origamis and mucosal based blood brain barrier penetrating strategies. Parallel to her neurotechnology innovation effort, Dr. Han has discovered key insights on the neural network mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Her current research focuses on inventing novel neurotechnologies and applying innovative approaches to probe the cellular and network mechanisms of brain disorders and brain stimulation therapies, with a goal of developing clinical biomarkers and a new generation of neuromodulation therapeutics.

Other Positions

  • Professor, Pharmacology, Physiology & Biophysics, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine


  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, PhD
  • Beijing University, BS


  • Published on 2/8/2022

    Shi W, Zemel D, Sridhar S, Mount RA, Richardson RM, Eden UT, Han X, Kramer MA, Chu CJ. Spike ripples in striatum correlate with seizure risk in two mouse models. Epilepsy Behav Rep. 2022; 18:100529. PMID: 35274094.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/18/2022

    Zemel D, Gritton H, Cheung C, Shankar S, Kramer M, Han X. Dopamine depletion selectively disrupts interactions between striatal neuron subtypes and LFP oscillations. Cell Rep. 2022 01 18; 38(3):110265. PMID: 35045299.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/12/2021

    Xiao S, Lowet E, Gritton HJ, Fabris P, Wang Y, Sherman J, Mount RA, Tseng HA, Man HY, Straub C, Piatkevich KD, Boyden ES, Mertz J, Han X. Large-scale voltage imaging in behaving mice using targeted illumination. iScience. 2021 Nov 19; 24(11):103263. PMID: 34761183.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/8/2021

    Tseng HA, Sherman J, Bortz E, Mohammed A, Gritton HJ, Bensussen S, Tang RP, Zemel D, Szabo T, Han X. Region-specific effects of ultrasound on individual neurons in the awake mammalian brain. iScience. 2021 Sep 24; 24(9):102955. PMID: 34458703.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/4/2021

    Nadalin JK, Eden UT, Han X, Richardson RM, Chu CJ, Kramer MA. Application of a convolutional neural network for fully-automated detection of spike ripples in the scalp electroencephalogram. J Neurosci Methods. 2021 08 01; 360:109239. PMID: 34090917.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/12/2021

    Mount RA, Sridhar S, Hansen KR, Mohammed AI, Abdulkerim M, Kessel R, Nazer B, Gritton HJ, Han X. Distinct neuronal populations contribute to trace conditioning and extinction learning in the hippocampal CA1. Elife. 2021 04 12; 10. PMID: 33843589.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/11/2021

    Tseng HA, Han X. Distinct Spiking Patterns of Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurons and LFP Oscillations in Prefrontal Cortex During Sensory Discrimination. Front Physiol. 2021; 12:618307. PMID: 33679434.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/9/2021

    Tsang JM, Gritton HJ, Das SL, Weber TD, Chen CS, Han X, Mertz J. Fast, multiplane line-scan confocal microscopy using axially distributed slits. Biomed Opt Express. 2021 Mar 01; 12(3):1339-1350. PMID: 33796357.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/6/2020

    Keaveney MK, Rahsepar B, Tseng HA, Fernandez FR, Mount RA, Ta T, White JA, Berg J, Han X. CaMKIIa-Positive Interneurons Identified via a microRNA-Based Viral Gene Targeting Strategy. J Neurosci. 2020 12 09; 40(50):9576-9588. PMID: 33158963.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/22/2020

    Xiao S, Gritton H, Tseng HA, Zemel D, Han X, Mertz J. High-contrast multifocus microscopy with a single camera and z-splitter prism. Optica. 2020 Nov 20; 7(11):1477-1486. PMID: 34532564.

    Read at: PubMed

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