Welcome to the Yu Lab!

Our research focuses on wide-ranging aspects of the mammalian main olfactory and vomeronasal systems​ - from ​the critical period and molecular mechanisms underpining the development of the olfactory map to ​the circuitry involved in perception and processing of pheromone- and odor-evoked signals and behaviors.

Lab News

August 30, 2021
- The lab welcomes Helena Raposo, a Research Scholar of the Postbac Program. Helena joins us from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering.

June 7, 2021 - The Lab welcomes Stowers Scholars. Brenda Sanchez, a Research Scholar with the postbac program. Brenda joins us from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minors in Chemistry & Neuroscience. Melina Peshoff, a sophomore from Case Western Reserve University, James Galbraith, a sophomore from Lafayette College, and Aviral Misra, a freshman from Columbia University, join as Summer Scholars.

Feb 12, 2021 - Congratulations to Rishabh Raj, who is now officially Dr. Raj! He successfully defended his thesis on June 12th, 2020,with the Open University.

January 11, 2021 - Wenjing is now Dr. Xu. She successfully defended her thesis on June 12th, 2020, with the Open University. Congratulations!


Neural Development and Regeneration

The olfactory system is the only nervous system in mammals that regenerates throughout the lifespan of an animal. We are unraveling mechanisms that control the development and regeneration of olfactory sensory neurons, which may hold the key to the understanding of neurodegeneration and neural regeneration.

Mechanisms of Olfactory Imprinting During Development

Early experiences in childhood have a profound impact on how one understands the world and responds to the environment. We use the mouse olfactory system to study the molecular and cellular changes associated with odor imprinting, a process in which during a critical period of early postnatal development odor exposure can alter how the odors are perceived later in life.

Mechanisms of Pheromone Control of Reproductive Behaviors

Pheromones controls sexual and social behaviors without conscious perception. We use molecular genetics to delineate the neural circuits that detect and transmit pheromone information to elicit reproductive behaviors.

Olfactory Learning and Perception

Some odors carry intrinsic “values” to evoke pleasant or foul sensations, while others are unrecognized until they are associated with daily experiences. We are discerning the neural mechanism of how odors can be innately encoded but also be learned.


C. Ron Yu
Thelma Chiremba
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Kyle Duyck
Predoctoral Researcher
Ai Fang
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Rahul Garg
Predoctoral Researcher
Max Hills
Qiang Qiu
Research Specialist I
Rishabh Raj
Postgraduate Researcher
Brenda Sanchez
Research Scholar
Jae Hyoun Seiler
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Annie Wang
Wenjing Xu
Postgraduate Researcher
Lab Alumni


Lab reagents and strains with their associated repository links

DNA Constructs Addgene
ID Plasmid
Tetanus Toxin Light Chain 32640 pGEMTEZ-TeTxLC
Kir2.1 32641 pGEMTEZ-Kir2.1
pTRE-Kir2.1 32642 pTetO-Kir2.1-IRES-TLZ
Adenovirus-Kir2.1-membrane GFP 117856 CMV-Kir2.1-pA-CMV-mRFP-pA(AV39)
pTRE-Bcl2 117857 tetO-Bcl2-IRES-tdtomato(TET005)
Adenovirus-membrane GFP 117858 CMV-mGFP-pA(AV222)
Transgenic Mice Jax
ID Strain Name:
pTRE-Bcl2 33125 B6.FVB-Tg(tetO-Bcl2,-tdTomato)LM1Ryu/J
pTRE-GCaMP2 17755 STOCK Tg(tetO-GCAMP2)12iRyu/J
OMP-IRES-tTA 17754  B6;129-Omptm1(tTA)Gogo/J
ID Strain Name:
pTRE-GCaMP2 031876-MU B6;FVB-Tg(tetO-GCaMP2)12JRyu/Mmmh


Stowers Institute for Medical Research
1000 E 50th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

(816) 926-4335