UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

Dr Jennifer Sun

Dr Jennifer Sun


Institute of Ophthalmology

Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL
15th Jul 2020

Research summary

Located at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, the Visual Plasticity Lab aims to answer how visual cortex integrates sensory and non-sensory modulatory information to regulate plasticity in the visual cortex.  To this end, we apply computational, physiological, pharmacological and molecular manipulation, with imaging approaches to identify the underlying biological basis of visual cortical plasticity in the developing and adult rodent brain. In particular, we aim to answer how these dynamic processes are regulated by sensory and neuromodulatory pathways across the brain, and how the neurons interact with local environment like interneurons and glial cells. 

We envision productive interaction with researchers studying glia cells at IoO and greater UCL community to elucidate the role of neuron-glial interaction during visual cortical plasticity. We also anticipate working with bioengineers across the campus and clinicians at Moorfields Eye Hospital to understand how neuroplasticity differs in health and disease, and device novel mechanism-based therapies to promote vision recovery from aging, injury, and neurological disorders.


Jennifer Y Sun completed her undergraduate thesis from Peking University studying neuronal network and visual circuit assembly. Applying both computational and systems approaches, her PhD research at University of Southern California focused on circuit computation and sensory cortical development. During her postdoc training at University of California San Francisco, She worked with Drs Roger Nicoll and Michael Stryker to apply molecular techniques, electrophysiology, and two-photon imaging to study the cellular and circuit mechanisms of neuroplasticity in developing and adult brain.

In July 2020, Dr Sun joined as a Lecturer at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology . The Sun Lab studies how neuroplasticity in the visual systems is regulated through interaction in the local environment as well as crosstalk between different brain regions. We apply state-of-art imaging techniques, together with computational, physiological, pharmacological, and molecular manipulation, to identify the underlying biological basis of visual cortical plasticity.