Lina Ni has been named as an assistant professor in the School of Neuroscience at Virginia Tech, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science.

Ni earned a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology at Wuhan University in Wuhan, China, and a doctoral degree in neuroscience from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

She completed a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience at Massachusetts’ Brandeis University, focusing on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control temperature sensation, where she discovered two new classes of molecular thermoreceptors and studied the complex responses of fruit flies to changing temperatures.

Her current research focuses on understanding how sensory systems regulate behavior in fruit flies, with a goal of answering such questions as how do environmental stimuli activate sensory receptors, how is information from these receptors processed, and how does the brain control behavior and physiology? Methods will entail molecular genetics, biochemistry, and electrophysiology.

Ni is one of 22 tenured and tenure-track faculty members to join the College of Science and the Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience this year.

Written by Mari Botha, of Ashburn, Virginia, a junior majoring in economics and professional and technical writing at Virginia Tech.