Shanshan Qin

Shanshan Qin

Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience

Harvard University

About me

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Pehlevan group at the Harvard John A. Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences. I am interested in a broad spectrum of questions in computational and theoretical neuroscience. Such as how the interaction of neurons in the brain achieve marvelous computational ability? How does the brain solve various challenging tasks via biologically plausible learning rules? What are the principles governing the wiring of neurons during development that enable the formation of specific neural circuits? I received a B.S. degree in Physics in 2012 from Central China Normal University at Wuhan. I then moved to the Center for Quantitative Biology at Peking University to pursuit my PhD, where I explored various problems at the interface between physics and biology. I did my thesis work with Prof. Tang Chao and Prof. Yuhai Tu and obtained my doctorate at 2019. I also enjoy badminton, swimming, hiking, cooking and Chinese calligraphy.


  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Quantiative and Systems Biology


  • PhD in Condensed Matter Physics, 2019

    Peking University, Bejing, China

  • BSc in physics, 2012

    Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China



Postdoctoral researcher

Harvard University

Aug 2019 – Present Cambridge, MA

Research interests:

  • Neural information processing
  • Biologically plausible learning algorithm
  • Neural computation in olfactory systems
  • Quantitative biology

Visiting student

University of California, Berkeley

Jun 2016 – Sep 2016 Berkeley, CA
Designed and performed experimental study on the temperature-dependent speed of embryogenesis in Drosophila Melanogaster

Ph.D Student

Peking University

Sep 2012 – Jul 2019 Beijing, China
Explored various projects in the interface between physics and biology. Learned interdisciplinary approached to understand complex biological systems: cell fate transitions, programmed cell death, and information processing in neural systems

Undergraduate research assistant

Central China Normal University

Jun 2009 – Nov 2010 Wuhan, China
Successfully prepared the hematite nanorods array, and studied its electrochemical properties as an anode material and reversible lithium storage

Recent Publications

Contrastive similarity matching for supervised learning

Effects of short-term plasticity in early olfactory information processing in Drosophila

Internal state configures olfactory behavior and early sensory processing in Drosophila larvae

A systematic study of the determinants of protein abundance memory in cell lineage


My CV is available in PDF form. (Last updated: February, 2022)

Recent Posts



Distinction in Teaching

Been recognized for excellence in teaching during the Fall semester of 2020 in the course Neural Computation.

Recent & Upcoming Talks












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