Welcome Chao Sun - new DANDRITE Group Leader
Chao Sun also started his journey as a DANDRITE Group Leader and Associate Professor at Aarhus University on 1 March. Chao will now build his lab, which will investigate protein machines that manage the molecular logistics of brain synapses using quantitative spatial proteomics approaches.
Trained as a chemist during his Ph.D. at Cornell University and Northwestern University, USA, Chao began his scientific career studying 'smart' molecular self-assembly (2013-2018). Unsatisfied with the simplicity of artificial molecular behavior, Chaos interest grew for studying memory proteins in the brain and it was during his Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany (2018-2023), he found his life-long passion for molecular machines in the brain. Education
The Sun lab is fascinated by the idea of using molecules to store and process information, namely chemical computing. Despite the advanced physical and electronic information technology, the brain still represents the only matter capable of complex chemical computing. Remarkably, a single brain cell alone hosts about 104 synapses that work in parallel. This extensive subcellular compartmentalization is essential for parallel computing, but it also creates massive molecular heterogeneity. While molecules are used to integrate information at neuronal synapses, the molecular ‘ecology’ across such numerous synapses is unknown: how do synapses share and compete for molecular resources? How efficiently are molecules made and used across synapses? Which molecular supply mechanisms put constraints on which synaptic function? Based on these ideas, the Sun lab investigates the synaptic molecular logistics underlying parallel chemical computing in a neuron.
Welcome Chao Sun!