Weizhe Hong, an associate professor of biological chemistry and neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, will receive this year’s Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience. The $15,000 award recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions by a young neuroscientist who has demonstrated scholarly independence.  

Hong’s laboratory combines experimental and computational techniques across molecular, circuit and behavioral levels to study how social behavior is regulated in the brain. His research offers new insights into the neural circuit mechanisms underlying social behavior and suggests important implications for their dysregulation in mental disorders like schizophrenia and autism.

Hong has uncovered important neural basis underlying the regulation of parental behavior and social dominance in animals. Most recently, his lab used head-mounted miniature microscopes to demonstrate that animal brains show synchronized activity during social interactions.

The impact of Hong’s work has earned numerous prestigious honors, including 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 and a McKnight Scholar Award.