Weizhe Hong

Professor, Biological Chemistry, University of California Los Angeles

Professor, Neurobiology, University of California Los Angeles

Dr. Hong is a Professor of Neurobiology, Biological Chemistry, and Bioengineering at the University of California Los Angeles. His research aims to uncover the fundamental neural mechanisms underlying social behavior, with a specific focus on empathy and prosociality. Dr. Hong earned his PhD degree in 2012 from Stanford University and was a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. In 2016, he joined UCLA as an Assistant Professor, and he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2020 and to Full Professor in 2023. He is also the recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience, an Early Career Award from the Society for Social Neuroscience, a Mallinckrodt Scholar Award, a Vallee Scholar Award, a Searle Scholar Award, a Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, a McKnight Scholar Award, a Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship, and a Sloan Research Fellowship.​

Education and Training

Stanford UniversityPhD2012

Awards and Honors

  • Sloan Research Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 2017.
  • Whitehall Foundation Grant, 2016.
  • Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, 2018.
  • Vallee Scholar Award, The Vallee Foundation, 2020.
  • John H. Walsh Young Investigator Research Prize, UCLA, 2021.
  • Mallinckrodt Scholar Award (the 69th Mallinckrodt Scholar), The Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation, 2020.
  • W. M. Keck Foundation Junior Faculty Award, 2021.
  • Early Career Award, Society for Social Neuroscience, 2019.
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, 2016.
  • Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship Award, 2018.
  • H. W. Magoun Distinguished Lectureship, UCLA, 2023.
  • Category Winner in Developmental Biology, Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientist, 2013.
  • Young Investigator Award, Society for Neuroscience, 2020.
  • McKnight Scholar Award, McKnight Foundation, 2019.
  • Larry Katz Memorial Lecture, Cold Spring Harbor Meeting in Neural Circuits, 2012.
  • Searle Scholar Award, Searle Scholars Program, 2017.
  • Larry Sandler Memorial Award, Genetics Society of America, 2013.
  • Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship, 2013.


  1. Zhang M, Wu YE, Jiang M, Hong W. Cortical regulation of helping behaviour towards others in pain.. Nature, 2024.
  2. Phi NT, Yu X, Hong W. Control of social hierarchy beyond neurons.. Nature neuroscience, 2023.
  3. Lim KY, Hong W. Neural mechanisms of comforting: Prosocial touch and stress buffering.. Hormones and behavior, 2023.
  4. Wu YE, Hong W. Neural basis of prosocial behavior.. Trends in neurosciences, 2022.
  5. Wu YE, Dang J, Kingsbury L, Zhang M, Sun F, Hu RK, Hong W. Neural control of affiliative touch in prosocial interaction.. Nature, 2021.
  6. Hu RK, Zuo Y, Ly T, Wang J, Meera P, Wu YE, Hong W. An amygdala-to-hypothalamus circuit for social reward.. Nature neuroscience, 2021.
  7. Kingsbury L, Hong W. A Multi-Brain Framework for Social Interaction.. Trends in neurosciences, 2020.
  8. Kingsbury L, Huang S, Raam T, Ye LS, Wei D, Hu RK, Ye L, Hong W. Cortical Representations of Conspecific Sex Shape Social Behavior.. Neuron, 2020.
  9. Kingsbury L, Huang S, Wang J, Gu K, Golshani P, Wu YE, Hong W. Correlated Neural Activity and Encoding of Behavior across Brains of Socially Interacting Animals.. Cell, 2019.
  10. Chen PB, Hu RK, Wu YE, Pan L, Huang S, Micevych PE, Hong W. Sexually Dimorphic Control of Parenting Behavior by the Medial Amygdala.. Cell, 2019.
  11. Chen P, Hong W. Neural Circuit Mechanisms of Social Behavior.. Neuron, 2018.
  12. Wu YE, Pan L, Zuo Y, Li X, Hong W. Detecting Activated Cell Populations Using Single-Cell RNA-Seq.. Neuron, 2017.
  13. Hong W, Kennedy A, Burgos-Artizzu XP, Zelikowsky M, Navonne SG, Perona P, Anderson DJ. Automated measurement of mouse social behaviors using depth sensing, video tracking, and machine learning.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2015.
  14. Ward A, Hong W, Favaloro V, Luo L. Toll receptors instruct axon and dendrite targeting and participate in synaptic partner matching in a Drosophila olfactory circuit.. Neuron, 2015.
  15. Hong W, Kim DW, Anderson DJ. Antagonistic control of social versus repetitive self-grooming behaviors by separable amygdala neuronal subsets.. Cell, 2014.
  16. Hong W, Luo L. Genetic control of wiring specificity in the fly olfactory system.. Genetics, 2014.
  17. Hong W. Science & SciLifeLab Prize. Assembly of a neural circuit.. Science (New York, N.Y.), 2013.
  18. Hong W, Wu YE, Fu X, Chang Z. Chaperone-dependent mechanisms for acid resistance in enteric bacteria.. Trends in microbiology, 2012.
  19. Hong W, Mosca TJ, Luo L. Teneurins instruct synaptic partner matching in an olfactory map.. Nature, 2012.
  20. Mosca TJ, Hong W, Dani VS, Favaloro V, Luo L. Trans-synaptic Teneurin signalling in neuromuscular synapse organization and target choice.. Nature, 2012.
  21. de Wit J, Hong W, Luo L, Ghosh A. Role of leucine-rich repeat proteins in the development and function of neural circuits.. Annual review of cell and developmental biology, 2011.
  22. Hong W, Luo L. Dendritic tiling through TOR signalling.. The EMBO journal, 2009.
  23. Hong W, Zhu H, Potter CJ, Barsh G, Kurusu M, Zinn K, Luo L. Leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins instruct discrete dendrite targeting in an olfactory map.. Nature neuroscience, 2009.
  24. Wu YE, Hong W, Liu C, Zhang L, Chang Z. Conserved amphiphilic feature is essential for periplasmic chaperone HdeA to support acid resistance in enteric bacteria.. The Biochemical journal, 2008.
  25. Hong W, Jiao W, Hu J, Zhang J, Liu C, Fu X, Shen D, Xia B, Chang Z. Periplasmic protein HdeA exhibits chaperone-like activity exclusively within stomach pH range by transforming into disordered conformation.. The Journal of biological chemistry, 2005.