‌Zhongmin (John) Lu


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Office/Lab: 208 Neuroscience and Health Annex.
5151 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146

E-mail: zlu@miami.edu
Lab: (305) 284-5043
Office: (305) 284-5048

Lab website


  • 2005 - present Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Miami
  • 2012-present, Visiting Research Fellow, International Center for Marine Studies, Shanghai Ocean University, The People’s Republic of China (PRC)
  • 2006, Neural Development and Genetics in Zebrafish course with Certificate, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole2002 - pesent, Faculty, The Neuroscience Program, University of Miami School of Medicine
  • 2000 - present, Investigator, NIEHS Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center (MFBSC), Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), University of Miami
  • 1999 - 2005, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Miami
  • 1998 - 1999, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park
  • 1997 - 1998, Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Postdoctoral work in Neuroscience, University of Maryland, College Park, 1995 - 1999
  • 1995, Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
  • 1993, M.A. Experimental Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
  • 1988, M.S. Neurophysiology, Yunnan University, Kunming, The People’s Republic of China (PRC)
  • 1985, B.S. Biology, Capital Normal University, Beijing, PRC


2014, Provost Research Award, University of Miami
2012, Provost Research Award, University of Miami
2010, Pilot Grant, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Miami
2006-2009, Gabelli Senior Scholar of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Miami
2004, College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Excellence Award, University of Miami
2001-2002, Pilot Project Award, NIEHS MFBSC, RSMAS, University of Miami
2000, General Research Support Award, University of Miami
1999, Knight Junior Faculty Fellowship, University of Miami


National Institutes of Health, R01 Research Grant, Genetic studies of inner ear anomalies, 3/1/2013 – 2/8/2018, Co-Investigator (PI: Mustafa Tekin)
National Institutes of Health, R21 Exploratory/Development Research Grant, Assessment of the development of auditory function in zebrafish, 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2012, Principal Investigator
National Institutes of Health, R01 Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research, PBDE 209 effects on vocalization in Xenopus laevis, 07/01/2006 - 12/31/2009, Principal Investigator
National Institutes of Health, R01 Research Grant, Neural mechanisms of sound localization, 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2009, Principal Investigator
National Institutes of Health, R29 First Award, Sound localization by fish, 01/01/1998 – 12/31/2002, Principal Investigator
National Institutes of Health, R03 Small Grant, Directional hearing in fish, 08/01/1995 - 07/31/1998, Principal Investigator


Developmental Biology and Neuroscience


I am interested in sensory neurobiology with the primary focus on the sense of hearing.  My Previous work emphasized on central auditory processing, sound localization, and ultrasonic detection in fish. The current research of my lab is to use the zebrafish (Danio rerio) to model hearing disorders in humans.  The zebrafish has become an increasingly important vertebrate model for biomedical research because it combines powerful genetics, excellent embryology, and exceptional in vivo visualization in one organism.  In addition to hair cells in the inner ear, zebrafish have hair cells in lateral line neuromasts on the surface of the body, making them easily accessible for live imaging and experimental manipulation.  Particularly, my lab is conducting experiments on zebrafish to understand biological mechanisms underlying human hearing loss and fetal alcohol syndrome using multiple approaches, including behavioral, developmental, confocal and electron microscopic, electrophysiological, morpholino gene knockdown, and molecular techniques.


I believe that students should be taught in scientific knowledge, technical skills, and independent thinking and apply what they have learned to real-life situations.  Students who are trained in this way are most likely to succeed in their future careers. My teaching areas are Physiology and Neuroscience.  At UM I taught/co-taught undergraduate courses such as General Physiology, Neurobiology, & Neuroscience Lab and a graduate core module – Neurons, Hormones, and Behavior.  I now teach Neurobiology (BIL 268), a core course for neuroscience majors and an elective course for other majors, in both spring and fall semesters.


  • Diaz-Horta, O., Subasioglu-Uzak, A., Grati, M., DeSmidt, D. A., Foster II, J., Cao, L., Tokgoz-Yilmaz, S., Duman, D., Cengiz, F. B., Abad, C., Mittal, R., Blanton, S. H., Liu, X. Z., Farooq, A., Walz, K., Lu, Z. and Tekin, M. (2014) FAM65B is a membrane-associated protein of hair cell stereocilia required for hearing. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 111: 9864-9868.

  • Lu, Z. and DeSmidt A. A. (2013) Early development of hearing in zebrafish.  Journal of the Association
    for Research in Otolaryngology (JARO) 14: 509-521.

  • Zamora, L. and Lu, Z. (2013) Alcohol-induced morphological deficits in the development of octavolateral organs of the zebrafish (Danio rerio). Zebrafish 10: 52-61.
  • Yariz, K., Duman, D., Seco, C. Z., Dallman, J., Huang, M., Peters, T., Sirmaci, A., Lu, N., Schraders, M., Skromne, I., Oostrik, J., Tokgoz-Yilmaz, S., Konukseven, O., Shahin, H., Kanaan, M., Edwards, Y. J. K., Li, H., Atalay, S., Blanton, S., DeSmidt, A. A., Liu, X. Z., Pennings, R., Lu, Z., Chen, Z. Y., Kremer, H. and Tekin, M. (2012) Mutations in OTOGL, encoding otogelin-like, cause moderate sensorineural hearing loss. American Journal of Human Genetics 91: 872-882.

  • Lu, Z., Xu, Z. and Buchser, W. J. (2010) Frequency coding of particle motion by saccular afferents of a
    teleost fish. Journal of Experimental Biology 213: 1591-1601.
  • Tomchik, S. M. and Lu, Z. (2005) Central octavolateral projections and convergence in the medulla of a teleost fish, the sleeper goby (Dormitator latifrons). Journal of Comparative Neurology 481: 96-117