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Letian TAO


Researcher, School of Life Sciences, PKU; 

Member, Center for Quantitative Biology, PKU



Ph.D., Physics, 1990/09 - 1995/03, Chicago University;

B.Sc., Physics, 1986/09 - 1990/06,Harvard University. 


Research interests:


  • Computational neuroscience
  • Visual and olfactory processing
  • Optical imaging of neural circuitry of model organisms
  • Systems biology and mathematical modeling of biological systems



Academic  Work 


  • 2008-Present        Center for Bioinformatics, Peking University
  • 2003-2007      Assistant Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • 2000-2003      Associate Research Scientist, New York University
  • 1997-2000      NSF Postdoctoral fellow, Columbia University
  • 1995-1997    Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Cambridge University



Selected publications:


1.  Zheng, C. Yu, Z., Zhou, Y., Tao, L., Pang, Y., Chen, T., Zhang X. Qiu, H., Zhou, H., Chen, Z. and Huang Y., “Live cell imaging analysis of the epigenetic regulation of the human endothelial cell migration at single cell resolution,” accepted for publication in Lab on a Chip.

2.  Tao, L., Praissman, J., and Sornborger, A.T., “Improved dimensionally-reduced visual cortical network using stochastic noise modeling,” J. Comput. Neurosci., 32, 367-376 (2012).

3.  Cai, D., Tao, L., Shkarayev, M.S., Rangan, A.V., McLaughlin, D.W., and Kovacic, G., “The role of fluctuations in coarse-grained descriptions of neuronal networks,” Comm. Math. Sci. 10, 307-354 (2012).

4.  Tao, L., Lauderdale, J.D. and Sornborger, A.T., “Mapping functional connectivity between neuronal ensembles with larval zebrafish transgenic for a ratiometric calcium indicator,” Frontiers in Neural Circuits

5.  Carceras, M.J., Carrillo, J.A., and Tao, L., “A numerical solver for a nonlinear Fokker-Planck equation representation of neuronal network dynamics,” J. Comput. Phys. 230, 1084 (2011)

6.  Tao, L. and Sornborger, A.T. “Dimensionally-reduced visual cortical network model predicts network response and connects system- and cellular-level descriptions,” J. Comput. Neurosci., 28, 91-106 (2010)

7. Kovacic, G., Tao, L., Rangan, A.V., and Cai, D., “Fokker-Planck description of conductance-based integrate-and-fire neuronal networks,” Phys. Rev. E, 80, 021904 (2009)

8. Zhao, M., Chen, X., Gao, G., Tao, L., and Wei, L., “RLEdb: a database of rate-limiting enzymes and their regulation in human, rat, mouse, yeast and E. coli,” Cell Res. 16, 793-5 (2009)

9. Gao, G., Li, J.-T., Kong, L., Tao, L. and Wei, L., “Human herpesvirus miRNAs statistically preferentially target host genes involved in cell signaling and adhesion/junction pathways,” Cell Res. 19, 665-667 (2009)

10.Rangan, A.V., Tao, L., Kovacic, G., and Cai, D. “Multi-scale modeling of the primary visual cortex,” IEEE Eng. Med. Biol., 28, 19-24 (2009)

11.Kovacic, G., Tao, L., Cai, D., and Shelley, M.J. “Theoretical analysis of reverse-time correlation for idealized tuning dynamics,” J. Comput. Neurosci. 25, 401-438 (2008)

12.Rangan, A., Cai, D., and Tao, L., “Numerical method for solving moment equations in kinetic theory of neuronal networks,” J. Comput. Phys. 221, 781-798 (2007)

13.Tao, L., Cai, D., McLaughlin, D., Shelley, M., and Shapley, R., “Orientation selectivity in visual cortex by fluctuation-controlled criticality,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 12911-12916 (2006)

14.Cai, D., Tao, L., Rangan, A., and McLaughlin, D., “Kinetic theory for neuronal network dynamics,” Comm. Math. Sci. 4, 97-127 (2006)



Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences
  • Methods in Bioinformatics