Qian Lin

Assistant Professor


St. George (downtown)

CSB Appointment


Research Areas

Bioinformatics / Computational Biology, Neurobiology


Ph.D National University of Singapore (NUS) 2016
BSc University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) 2011

Graduate Programs

Cell and Systems Biology

Research Description

Our lab wants to understand how the brain produces flexible and adaptive behaviors – the neural mechanisms underlying cognition and behaviors at the systems level. To do so, we combine whole-brain neural imaging and computational tools on behaving animal models. To gain access to the whole brain at the single-cell level, we work with the zebrafish model and cutting-edge microscopies. Our approach is to develop data-driven computational models that can explain and predict behaviors from neural activity.

The cerebellum, with a highly conserved layered architecture, has recently emerged as a critical region for cognitive functions. Our lab focuses on the “cognitive cerebellum” by studying cerebellar microcircuits and interactions with the brain-wide neurodynamics in three decision-making contexts – learning, social cognition, and spatial navigation. We employ state-of-art optical neurotechnology, virtual realities, calcium imaging in awake zebrafish, computation tools from machine learning and dynamical systems, and an array of optogenetic tools.

Contact Information

Office: 603A
Lab: 603/604

Mailing Address

25 Harbord Street,
Toronto, Ontario,
M5S 3G5

Visit lab’s website

Recent News

Connaught Award for aquatic VR to understand neural dynamics

A Connaught New Researcher Award to CSB Professor Qian Lin will combine engineering, neuroscience, game design and AI to reveal new insights on how…

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CSB Researchers earn multiple NSERC awards

Congratulations to Professors in CSB who earned NSERC Discovery and NSERC-RTI grants! NSERC Discovery Grants The Discovery Grant program supports…

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CSB recruits Professor Qian Lin for systems neuroscience in a new city

We are pleased to welcome Qian Lin, who has joined us as Assistant Professor in CSB to work on systems neuroscience, at the intersection of…

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Cerebellar Neurodynamics Predict Decision Timing and Outcome on the Single-Trial Level

Lin Q, Manley J, Helmreich M, Schlumm F, Li JM, Robson DN, Engert F, Schier A, Nöbauer T, Vaziri A
2020, Cell, 10.1016/j.cell.2019.12.018

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Characterization of a thalamic nucleus mediating habenula responses to changes in ambient illumination

Cheng R, Krishnan S, Lin Q, Kibat C, Jesuthasan S
2017, BMC Biology, 10.1186/s12915-017-0431-1

Masking of a circadian behavior in larval zebrafish involves the thalamo-habenula pathway

Lin Q, Jesuthasan S
2017, Scientific Reports, 10.1038/s41598-017-04205-7

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