Na Ji

Na Ji

Associate Professor

Office: 280 Li Ka Shing Center

Research Area(s): Biophysics


Na Ji received her B.S. in Chemical Physics from the University of Science & Technology of China in 2000. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California Berkeley in 2005, working in the laboratory of Yuen-Ron Shen. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Materials Sciences Division of LBNL for 10 months, before moving to the Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute to continue her postdoctoral training in 2006. She became a Group Leader at Janelia Research Campus in 2011. Missing the diverse research and culture at Berkeley, She returned to join the Physics and Molecular & Cell Biology Departments in 2016. She is currently the Luis Alvarez Memorial Chair in Experimental Physics and an associate professor of neurobiology. 

Research Interests

Using concepts in physics, we develop next-generation optical microscopy methods for understanding the brain at higher resolution, greater depth, and faster time scales. Besides inventing methods that make an immediate impact on neuroscience, we also aim to extend the applications of our technologies to other living (and nonliving) systems.


J. L. Fan, J. A. Rivera, W. Sun, J. Peterson, H. Haeberle, S. Rubin, N. Ji. High-speed volumetric two-photon fluorescence imaging of neurovascular dynamics. Nature Communications 11, 6020 (2020).  

Z. Li, Q. Zhang, S.-W. Chou, Z. Newman, R. Turcotte, R. Natan, Q. Dai, E. Y. Isacoff, N. Ji. Fast widefield imaging of neuronal structure and function with optical sectioning in vivo. Science Advances 6, eaaz3870 (2020).

J. Wu, Y. Liang, S. Chen, C.-L. Hsu, M. Chavarha, S. W. Evans, D. Shi, M. Z. Lin, K. K. Tsia, N. Ji. Kilohertz two-photon fluorescence microscopy imaging of neural activity in vivo. Nature Methods 17, 287–290 (2020).

R. Lu, Y. Liang, G. Meng, P. Zhou, K. Svoboda, L. Paninski, N. Ji. Rapid mesoscale volumetric imaging of neural activity with synaptic resolution. Nature Methods 17, 291–294 (2020).

R. Turcotte, Y. Liang, M. Tanimoto, Q. Zhang, Z. Li, M. Koyama, E. Betzig, N. Ji. Dynamic super-resolution structured illumination imaging in the living brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116, 9586-9591 (2019).

G. Meng, Y. Liang, S. Sarsfield, W. C. Jiang, R. Lu, J. T. Dudman, Y. Aponte, N. Ji. High-throughput synapse-resolving two-photon fluorescence microendoscopy for deep-brain volumetric imaging in vivo. Elife e40805 (2019).

R. Lu, W. Sun, Y. Liang, A. Kerlin, J. Bierfeld, J. E. Seelig, D. E. Wilson, B. Scholl, B. Mohar, M. Tanimoto, M. Koyama, D. Fitzpatrick, M. B. Orger, N. Ji. Video-rate volumetric functional imaging of the brain at synaptic resolution. Nature Neuroscience 20, 620-628 (2017).

W. Sun, Z. Tan, B. D. Mensh, N. Ji.  Thalamus provides layer 4 of primary visual cortex with orientation- and direction-tuned inputs. Nature Neuroscience 19, 308-315 (2016).

K. Wang, W. Sun, C. T. Richie, B. K. Harvey, E. Betzig, N. Ji.  Direct wavefront sensing for high-resolution in vivo imaging in scattering tissue. Nature Communications 6, 7276 (2015).

C. Wang, R. Liu, D.E. Milkie, W. Sun, Z. Tan, T.-W. Chen, D.S. Kim, N. Ji.  Multiplexed aberration measurement for deep tissue imaging in vivo. Nature Methods 11, 1037-1040 (2014).