Ruifeng Cao


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Neurosciences and/or Pharmacology


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My lab is interested in molecular signaling mechanisms that orchestrate daily rhythms in our brain and how their dysregulation contributes to neurological and psychiatric diseases. We are particularly interested in the role of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling and mechanisms that control mRNA translation in the circadian clock.

Education/Academic qualification

MD, Fourth Military Medical University

PhD, The Ohio State University

External Positions

Member, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms

2010 → …

Member, Society for Neuroscience

2008 → …

Research interests

  • circadian rhythms
  • neuronal signal transduction
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • cellular stress response
  • mRNA translation
  • mTOR signaling
  • sleep
  • traumatic brain injury
  • glioma

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Research Output

The eIF2α Kinase GCN2 Modulates Period and Rhythmicity of the Circadian Clock by Translational Control of Atf4

Pathak, S. S., Liu, D., Li, T., de Zavalia, N., Zhu, L., Li, J., Karthikeyan, R., Alain, T., Liu, A. C., Storch, K. F., Kaufman, R. J., Jin, V. X., Amir, S., Sonenberg, N. & Cao, R., Nov 20 2019, In : Neuron. 104, 4, p. 724-735.e6

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • mTOR signaling in VIP neurons regulates circadian clock synchrony and olfaction

    Liu, D., Stowie, A., de Zavalia, N., Leise, T., Pathak, S. S., Drewes, L. R., Davidson, A. J., Amir, S., Sonenberg, N. & Cao, R., Apr 3 2018, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 14, p. E3296-E3304

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 15 Scopus citations

    Light-regulated translational control of circadian behavior by eIF4E phosphorylation

    Cao, R., Gkogkas, C. G., De Zavalia, N., Blum, I. D., Yanagiya, A., Tsukumo, Y., Xu, H., Lee, C., Storch, K. F., Liu, A. C., Amir, S. & Sonenberg, N., Jun 28 2015, In : Nature neuroscience. 18, 6, p. 855-862 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 31 Scopus citations

    Translational control of entrainment and synchrony of the suprachiasmatic circadian clock by mTOR/4E-BP1 signaling

    Cao, R., Robinson, B., Xu, H., Gkogkas, C., Khoutorsky, A., Alain, T., Yanagiya, A., Nevarko, T., Liu, A. C., Amir, S. & Sonenberg, N., Aug 21 2013, In : Neuron. 79, 4, p. 712-724 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 78 Scopus citations

    Wakefulness/sleep architecture and electroencephalographic activity in mice lacking the translational repressor 4E-BP1 or 4E-BP2

    Areal, C. C., Cao, R., Sonenberg, N. & Mongrain, V., Feb 13 2020, In : Sleep. 43, 2

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle