Theme Member
Dr Weili Zhu


Phone: 08 8128 4737



PhD, China Pharmaceutical University, 2007


After her PhD training in psychopharmacology in 2007, Dr Weili Zhu joined National Institute on Drug Dependence of Peking University as a Postdoctoral fellow for the research on the phathogenesis of depressive disease induced by environmental stressors. Subsequently, she was an Assistant Researcher in 2009-2013, and an Associate Researcher in Peking University from 2013 focused on the research area related to the interaction of stressful events and the neuroplasticity signal pathway in the development of depressive behavior in several preclinical depression models. Currently, Dr Zhu works at the Mind & Brain Theme in SAHMRI as a Visiting Scholar from March 2017 to March 2018 supported by a grant form China Scholarship Council (CSC).


  1. Qin J, Yang X, Zhang RX, Luo YX, Li JL, Hou J, Zhang C, Li YJ, Shi J, Lu L, Wang JX*, Zhu WL*. Monocyte mediated brain targeting delivery of macromolecular drug for the therapy of depression. Nanomedicine. 2015, 11: 391-400.
  2. Li J, Luo Y, Zhang R,ShiH,Zhu W*,ShiJ*. Neuropeptide Trefoil Factor 3 Reverses Depressive-Like Behaviors by Activation of BDNF-ERK-CREB Signaling in Olfactory Bulbectomized Rats. Int J Mol Sci. 2015, 30;16(12):28386-400.
  3. Zhu WL#, Wang SJ#, Liu MM, Shi HS, Zhang RX, Liu JF, Ding ZB, Lu L*. The glycine site N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist 7-CTKA produces rapid antidepressant-like effects in male rats. J Psychiatry Neurosci, 2013, 38(5): 306-316.
  4. Zhu WL#*, Shi HS#, Wei YM, Wang SJ, Sun CY, Ding ZB, Lu L. Green tea polyphenols produce antidepressant-like effects in adult mice.Pharmacol Res, 2012, 65:74-80.
  5. Zhu WL*, Shi HS, Wang SJ, Wu P, Ding ZB, Lu L*. Increased Cdk5/p35 activity in the dentate gyrus mediatesdepressive-like behaviour in rats. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol, 2012, 15(6):795-809.
  6. Zhu WL#, Shi HS#, Wang SJ, Wu P, Ding ZB, Lu L*. Hippocampal CA3 calcineurin activity participates in depressive-like behavior in rats. J Neurochem, 2011, 117(6):1075-1086.
  7. Shi HS#, Zhu WL#*, Liu JF, Luo YX, Si JJ, Wang SJ, Xue YX, Ding ZB, Shi J, Lu L*. PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in the basolateral amygdala mediates the rapid antidepressant-like effects of trefoil factor 3. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2012, 37(12):2671-2683.
  8. Wu P, Ding ZB, Meng SQ, Shen HW, Sun SC, Luo YX, Liu JF, Lu L, Zhu WL*, Shi J*. Differential role of Rac in the basolateral amygdala and cornu ammonis 1 in the reconsolidation of auditory and contextual Pavlovian fear memory in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014, 231:2909–19.
  9. Wu P, Shi HS*, Luo YX, Zhang RX, Li JL, Shi J, Lu L, Zhu WL*. Neuropeptide trefoil factor 3 attenuates naloxone-precipitated withdrawal in morphine-dependent mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014,231(24):4659-68.
  10. Qin J, Zhang RX, Li JL, Wang JX, Hou J, Yang X, Zhu WL*, Shi J, Lu L. cRGD mediated liposomes enhanced antidepressant-like effects of edaravone in rats. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2014, 16;58:63-71.
  11. Qin J, Yang X, Mi J, Wang J, Hou J, Shen T, Li Y, Wang B, Li X, Zhu WL*. Enhanced antidepressant-like effects of the macromolecule trefoil factor 3 by loading into negatively charged liposomes. Int J Nanomedicine. 2014, 12;9:5247-57.
  12. Jiang WG, Li SX, Liu JF, Sun Y, Zhou SJ, Zhu WL*, Shi J, Lu L*. Hippocampal CLOCK protein participates in the persistence of depressive-like behavior induced by chronic unpredictable stress. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012, 227(1):79-92.
  13. Zhang RX, Han Y, Chen C, Xu LZ, Li JL, Chen N, Sun CY, Chen WH, Zhu WL, Shi J,Lu L*. EphB2 in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Regulates Vulnerability to Stress. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016, 41(10):2541-56
  14. Luo YX, Han H, Shao J, Gao Y, Yin X, Zhu WL, Han Y, Shi HS*. mTOR signalling in the nucleus accumbens shell is critical for augmented effect of TFF3 on behavioural response to cocaine. Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 10;6:27895. doi: 10.1038/srep27895
  15. Zhang Y, Xue Y, Meng S, Luo Y, Liang J, Li J, Ai S, Sun C, Shen H,Zhu W, Wu P,Lu L, Shi J*. Inhibition of Lactate Transport Erases Drug Memory and Prevents Drug Relapse. Biol Psychiatry. 2016 Jun 1;79(11):928-39.
  16. Xue YX, Luo YX, Wu P, Shi HS, Xue LF, Chen C, Zhu WL, Ding ZB, Bao YP, Shi J, Epstein DH, Shaham Y, Lu L*. A memory retrieval-extinction procedure to prevent drug craving and relapse. Science. 2012, 13;336(6078):241-245.
  17. Xu CM, Wang J, Wu P, Xue YX, Zhu WL, Li QQ, Zhai HF, Shi J, Lu L*. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β in the nucleus accumbens core is critical for methamphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization.J Neurochem, 2011, 118(1):126-139.
  18. Yang J, Yu J, Jia X, Zhu W, Zhao L, Li S, Xu C, Yang C, Wu P, Lu L*. Inhibition of nuclear factor-κB impairs reconsolidation of morphine reward memory in rats. Behav Brain Res, 2011, 20;216(2):592-596.
  19. Shi HS, Luo YX, Xue YX, Wu P, Zhu WL, Ding ZB, Lu L*. Effects of sleep deprivation on retrieval and reconsolidation of morphine reward memory in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 2011, 98(2):299-303.
  20. Li FQ, Xue YX, Wang JS, Fang Q, Li YQ, Zhu WL, He YY, Liu JF, Xue LF, Shaham Y, Lu L*. Basolateral amygdala cdk5 activity mediates consolidation and reconsolidation of memories for cocaine cues. J Neurosci, 2010, 30:10351-10359.
  21. Suo L, Zhao LY, Si JJ, Liu JF, Zhu WL, Chai BS, Zhang Y, Feng JJ, Ding ZB, Luo YX, Shi HS, Shi J, Lu L*. Predictable chronic mild stress in adolescence increases resilience in adulthood. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013, 38: 1387-1340.
  22. Sun LL, Zhang Y, Liu JF, Wang J, Zhu WL, Zhao LY, Xue YX, Lu L, Shi J*. Role of melanin-concentrating hormone in the nucleus accumbens shell in rats behaviourally sensitized to methamphetamine. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013, 16:1767-1780.
  23. Wang J, Sun LL, Zhu WL, Sun Y, Liu JF, Lu L, Shi J*. Role of calcineurin in the VTA in rats behaviorally sensitized to methamphetamine. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012, 220:117-128.
  24. Xu CM, Wang J, Wu P, Zhu WL, Li QQ, Xue YX, Zhai HF, Shi J, Lu L*. Glycogen synthase kinase 3beta in the nucleus accumbens core mediates cocaine-induced behavioral sensitization. J Neurochem. 2009, 111:1357-1368.
  25. Yang CH, Shi HS, Zhu WL, Wu P, Sun LL, Si JJ, Liu MM, Zhang Y, Suo L, Yang JL*. Venlafaxine facilitates between-session extinction and prevents reinstatement of auditory-cue conditioned fear. Behav Brain Res. 2012, 230: 268-273.

(# First author, * Corresponding author)

Research interests

Stress-related circuits especially the glutamatergic neuronal projection from the medial prefrontal cortex to the nucleus accumbens in regulation of depressive behaviors and the role of NMDA/AMPA receptors in the rapid-onset of antidepressant actions.

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