Hee Jung Chung's directory photo.

Hee Jung Chung

Associate Professor

Primary Affiliation

Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition


Status Affiliate Faculty

Home Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology

Phone 244-6839



  • Biography

    Hee Jung Chung is an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. Her research interests include neurological and behavioral disorders.


    • B.S., Cornell University, 1995
    • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2002
    • Postdoc, University of California, 2002-2009
  • Honors
    • 2014: James E. Heath Award for excellence in teaching in Physiology, University of Illinois 
    • 2013-2014: Targeted Research Initiative for Severe Symptomatic Epilepsies Grant Award, Epilepsy Foundation 
    • 2011-2013: Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award, March of Dimes Foundation 
    • 2011-2014: Carver Young Investigator Competition Award, Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust 
  • Research

    Research areas:

    • Brain Plasticity

    • Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

    • Neural Bases of Disease and Disorders

    • Neural Excitability, Synapses, and Glia

    Research interests:

    • Neurological and Behavioral Disorders

    Epilepsy is a common chronic brain disorder that is caused by excessive brain activity clinically characterized as seizures. About 40% of epilepsy is associated with genetic mutations. The cause for the rest of epilepsy is unclear. Since ion channels are critical regulators of neuronal activity, the goals of my research program at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) have been to (1) understand how epilepsy mutations affect ion channel function and lead to hyperexcitability in inherited or de novo epilepsy, and (2) identify molecular mechanisms that alter ion channels to cause hyperexcitability in acquired epilepsy.

  • 2023

    • Tracy G, Huang KY, Hong YT, Ding S, Noblet H, Lim KH, Kim EC, Chung HJ, Kong H. Intracerebral Nanoparticle Transport Facilitated by Alzheimer Pathology and Age. Nano Letters, In press. (Contributed equally. Co-corresponding author.) Chen X, Kandel ME, He S, Hu C, Lee YJ, Sullivan K, Tracy GC, Chung HJ, Kong HJ, Anastasio M, Popescu G. Artificial confocal microscopy for deep label-free imaging. Nature Photonics. 17, 250–258 (2023).
    • Youn Y, Lau GW, Lee YJ, Maity BK, Gouaux E, Chung HJ, and Selvin PR. Quantitative DNA-PAINT imaging of AMPA receptors in live neurons. Cell Report Methods. 2023 Feb 16;3(2):100408


    • Baculis BC, Kesavan H, Weiss AC, Kim EH, Tracy GC, Ouyang W, Tsai N-P-, and Chung HJ. Homeostatic regulation of ERK1/2 activity and axonal Kv7.3 expression by prolonged blockade of hippocampal neuronal activity. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 2022 Jul 28;16:838419. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2022.838419.
    • Jin C, Jang SS, Ge P, Chung HJ, and Selvin PR. AMPA receptor number and dynamics on a synapse-to-synapse basis during maintenance of chemical LTP. Cell Reports, Under revision. Available at SSRN:
    • Tracy GC, Wilton AR, Rhodes JS, Chung HJ. (2022) Heterozygous deletion of epilepsy gene KCNQ2 has negligible effects on learning and memory. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2022 Jul 19;16:930216. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2022.930216
    • Walters, J.M., Kim, E.C., Zhang, J., Jeong, H.G., Bajaj, A., Baculis, B., Tracy, G., Ibrahim, B., Christian-Hinman, C.A., Llano, D.A., Huesmann, G.R., Chung, H.J. (2022) Pharmacological inhibition of STriatal-Enriched protein tyrosine Phosphatase by TC-2153 reduces hippocampal excitability and seizure propensity. Epilepsia, 2022 Feb 21. doi: 10.1111/epi.17192


    • Kandel M, Kim E, Lee YJ, Tracy G, Chung HJ, and Popescu G (2021). Multiscale assay of unlabeled neurite dynamics using phase imaging with computational specificity (PICS)”. ACS Sensors. 2021, 6, 5, 1864–1874
    • Kim EC, Zhang J, Tang A, Bolton EC, Rhodes JS, Christian-Hinman CA, and Chung HJ. (2021). Spontaneous seizure and memory loss in mice expressing an epileptic encephalopathy variant in the calmodulin-binding domain of Kv7.2. PNAS. Dec 2021, 118 (51) e2021265118 (2021).
    • Pant S, Zhang J, Kim EC, Lam K, Chung HJ, and Tajkhorshid E. PIP2-dependent coupling of voltage sensor and pore domains in Kv7.2 channel. Commun Biol 4, 1189 (2021).
    • Urrutia J, Aguado A, Gomis-Perez C, Muguruza-Montero A, Ballesteros OR, Zhang J, Nuñez, Malo, Chung HJ, Leonardo A, Bergara A and Villarroel A (2021). An Epilepsy-Causing Mutation Leads to Co-translational Misfolding. BMC Biology. 2021 May 21;19(1):109. doi: 10.1186/s12915-021-01040-1.


    • Baculis BC, Zhang J, and Chung HJ (2020). The role of Kv7 channels in Neural Plasticity and Behavior. Front Physiol. 2020 Sep 18;11:568667.
    • Le P, Vaidya R, Smith LD, Han Z, Zahid MU, Winter J, Sarkar S, Chung HJ, Perez-Pinera P, Selvin PR, and Smith AM. (2020). Optimizing quantum dot probe size for single receptor imaging. ACS Nano, 2020. Jul 28;14(7):8343-8358.
    • Zhang J, Kim EC, Chen CC, Procko E, Pant S, Lam K, Patel J, Choi R, Hong M, Joshi D, Bolton EC, Tajkhorshid E, and Chung HJ (2020). Identifying mutation hotspots reveals pathogenetic mechanisms of KCNQ2 epileptic encephalopathy. Scientific Reports 10, 4756 (2020).


    • Ballance WC, Qin EC, Chung HJ, Gillette MU, and Kong HJ (2019). Reactive oxygen species-responsive drug delivery systems for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Biomaterials, Volume 217, October 2019, 119292.
    • Kim EC, Patel J, Zhang J, Soh H, Rhodes JS, Tzingounis A, and Chung HJ. (2019). Heterozygous loss of epilepsy gene KCNQ2 alters social, repetitive, and exploratory behaviors. Genes, Brain, and Behavior. 2019 Jul 8:e12599. PMID: 31283873.
    • Le P, Lim SJ, Baculis BC, Chung HJ, Kilian KA, and Smith AM. (2019). Counting growth factors in single cells with infrared quantum dots to measure discrete stimulation distributions. Nat Commun. 2019 Feb 22;10(1):909. PMID: 30796217 PMCID: PMC6385258


    • Brill AL, Fischer TT, Walters JM, Marlier A, Sewanan LR, Wilson PC, Johnson EK, Moeckel G, Cantley LG, Campbell SG, Nerbonne JM, Chung HJ, Robert ME, Ehrlich BE (2020). Polycystin 2 is increased in disease to protect against stress-induced cell death. Scientific Reports, 2020 Jan 15;10(1):386. PMID: 31941974
    • Kim EC, Zhang J, Pang W, Wang S, Lee KY, Cavaretta, JP, Walters J, Procko E, Tsai N-P-, and Chung HJ. (2018). Reduced axonal surface expression and phosphoinositide sensitivity in Kv7 channels disrupts their function to inhibit neuronal excitability in Kcnq2 epileptic encephalopathy. Neurobiology of Disease. 2018 Oct;118:76-93. PMID: 30008368.
    • Kim IJ, Lee J, Oh SJ, Yoon MS, Jang SS, Holland RL, Reno ML, Hamad MN, Maeda T, Chung HJ, Chen J, Blanke SR. (2018). Helicobacter pylori Infection Modulates Host Cell Metabolism through VacA-Dependent Inhibition of mTORC1. Cell Host Microbe. 2018, May 9;23(5):583-593.e8. PMID: 29746831.
    • Lee KY, Jewett KA, Chung HJ, Tsai NP. (2018). Loss of fragile X protein FMRP impairs homeostatic synaptic downscaling through tumor suppressor p53 and ubiquitin E3 ligase Nedd4-2. Human Molecular Genetics, 2018 Aug 15;27(16):2805-2816. PMID: 29771335
    • Liu J, Li F, Wang Y, Pan L, Lin P, Zhang B, Zheng Y, Xu Y, Liao H, Ko G, Fei F, Xu C, Du Y, Shin K, Kim D, Jang SS, Chung HJ, Tian H, Wang Q, Guo W, Nam JM, Chen Z, Hyeon TH, Ling D (2020). A sensitive and specific nanosensor for monitoring extracellular potassium levels in the brain. Nature Nanotechnology, 2020 Feb 10. doi:10.1038/s41565-020-0634-4


    • Baculis BC, Weiss AC, Pang W, Jeong HG, Lee JH, Liu DC, Tsai NP, and Chung HJ (2017). Prolonged seizure activity causes caspase dependent cleavage and dysfunction of G-protein activated inwardly rectifying potassium channels. Scientific Reports, 2017 Sep 26;7(1):12313. PMID: 28951616.
    • Jang S, Jeong H, Chung HJ (2017). Electroconvulsive seizures in rats and fractionation of their hippocampi to examine seizure-induced changes in postsynaptic density proteins. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2017 Aug 15;(126). doi: 10.3791/56016. PMID:28829421
    • Liu DC, Seimetz J, Lee KY, Kalsotra A, Chung HJ, Lu H, and Tsai NP (2017). Mdm2 mediates FMRP- and Gp1 mGluR-dependent protein translation and neural network activity. Human Molecular Genetics, 2017 Oct 15;26(20):3895-3908.
    • Zhu J, Lee KY, Jewett KA, Man H, Chung HJ, Tsai N-P- (2017). Epilepsy-associated gene Nedd4-2 mediates neuronal network activity and seizure susceptibility through AMPA receptors. PLOS Genetics, 2017 Feb 17;13(2):e1006634, PMID:28212375


    • Jang S and Chung HJ (2016). Emerging Link between Alzheimer’s Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity. Neural Plasticity. vol. 2016, Article ID 7969272, 19 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/7969272.
    • Jang S, Royston SE, Gunhee Lee, Shuwei Wang, and Chung HJ (2016). Seizure-induced regulations of amyloid-beta, STEP61, and STEP61 substrates involved in hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Neural Plasticity. vol. 2016, Article ID 2123748, 13 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/2123748. PMCID: PMC4835651.
    • Vega L JC, Lee MK, Qin EC, Lee KY, Chung HJ, Leckband DE, Kong H (2016). Three dimensional conjugation of recombinant N-Cadherin to a hydrogel for in vitro anisotropic neural growth. Journal of Materials Chemistry B Materials for Biology and Medicine, 4(42):6803-6811. PMCID: PMC5423733


    • Jang S, Royston SE, Xu J, Cavaretta JP, Vest MO, Lee KY, Lee S, Jeong H, Lombroso PJ, and Chung HJ (2015). Regulation of STEP61 and tyrosine-phosphorylation of NMDA and AMPA receptors during homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Molecular Brain. Sep 22;8(1):55. PMCID: PMC4578242.
    • Lee K, Royston SE, Vest MO, Ley DJ, Lee S, Bolton EC, and Chung H (2015). N-methyl-D-aspartate Receptors mediate Activity-dependent Down-Regulation of Potassium Channel Genes during the Expression of Homeostatic Intrinsic Plasticity. Molecular Brain. 8(1):4. PMCID: PMC4333247.


    • Cai E, Ge P, Lee SH, Jeyifous O, Wang Y, Liu Y, Wilson KM, Lim SJ, Baird MA, Stone JE, Lee KY, Davidson MW, Chung HJ, Schulten K, Smith AM, Green WN, Selvin PR. (2014). Stable small quantum dots for synaptic receptor tracking on live neurons. Angewandte Chemie, 53(46):12484-8. PMCID: PMC4240739.
    • Cavaretta JP, Sherer KS, Lee KY, Issema RS, Kim EH, and Chung HJ (2014). Polarized Axonal Surface Expression of Neuronal KCNQ Potassium Channels is Regulated by Calmodulin Interaction with KCNQ2 Subunit. PLos One, 9(7):e103655. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103655. PMCID: PMC4117524.
    • Chung HJ (2014). Role of calmodulin in neuronal Kv7/KCNQ potassium channels and epilepsy. Frontiers in Biology. 9(3):205-15.
    • Lee KY and Chung HJ (2014). NMDA receptors and L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels mediate the Expression of Bidirectional Homeostatic Intrinsic Plasticity in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons. Neuroscience. (277):610-23 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.07.038. PMID: 25086314.
    • Vega L JC, Lee MK, Jeong JH, Smith CE, Lee KY, Chung HJ, Leckband DE, Kong H. (2014). Recapitulating cell-cell adhesion using N-Cadherin biologically tethered to substrates. Biomacromolecules. 15(6):2172-9. PMID: 24773064.
    • Wang Y, Cai E, Rosenkranz T, Ge P, Teng KW, Lim SJ, Smith A, Chung HJ, Sachs F, Sachs F, Green W, Gottlieb P, and Selvin PR (2014). Small Quantum Dots Conjugated to Nanobodies as Immunofluorescence Probes for Nanometric Microscopy. Bioconjugate Chemistry. 25(12):2205-11. PMCID: PMC4275168.


    • Hearing M, Kotecki L, Marron Fernandez de Velasco E, Fajardo-Serrano A, Chung HJ, Luján R, Wickman K. (2013). Repeated Cocaine Weakens GABAB-Girk Signaling in Layer 5/6 Pyramidal Neurons in the Prelimbic Cortex. Neuron 80(1):159-70. PMCID: PMC3793643.


    • Chung HJ, Lee HK (2009). Constructing a road map from synapses to behaviour. Meeting on Synapses: From Molecules to Circuits & Behavior. EMBO Rep.,10(9):958-62. PMCID: PMC2750071.
    • Chung HJ, Woo-ping Ge, Xiang Qian, Ofer Wiser, Jan YN, and Jan LY (2009). G-protein activated inwardly rectifying potassium channels mediate depotentiation of long-term potentitation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106(2): 635-40. PMCID: PMC2613041.
    • Chung HJ, Xiang Qian, Melissa Ehlers, Jan YN, and Jan LY (2009). Neuronal activity regulates phosphorylation-dependent surface delivery of G-protein activated inwardly rectifying potassium channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106(2): 629-34. PMCID: PMC2613039.


    • Chung HJ, Jan YN, and Jan LY (2006). Polarized axonal surface expression of neuronal KCNQ channels is mediated by multiple signals in the KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 C-terminal domains. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 103 (23): 8870-5. PMCID: PMC1472242.


    • Chung HJ, Lau LF, Huang YH and Huganir RL (2004). Regulation of NMDA Receptor complex and trafficking by activity-dependent phosphorylation of NR2B subunit PDZ ligand. J Neurosci, 24(45):10248-59.


    • Chung HJ, Steinberg JP, Huganir RL, Linden DJ (2003). Requirement of AMPA receptor GluR2 phosphorylation for cerebellar long-term depression. Science, 300(5626):1751-5.
    • Heynen AJ, Yoon BJ, Liu CH, Chung HJ, Huganir RL and Bear MF (2003). Molecular mechanism for loss of visual cortical responsiveness following brief monocular deprivation. Nat Neurosci. 6(8):854-62.


    • Kim CH, Chung HJ, Lee H-K-, and Huganir RL (2001). Interaction of the AMPA receptor subunit GluR2/3 with PDZ domains regulates hippocampal long term-depression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 98(20):11725-30. PMCID: PMC58797.
    • McDonald BJ, Chung HJ, and Huganir RL (2001). Identification of Protein Kinase C phosphorylation sites within the AMPA receptor GluR2 subunit. Neuropharmacology, 41(6):672-679.


    • Chung HJ, Xia J, Scannevin RH, Zhang X, and Huganir RL (2000). Phosphorylation of the AMPA receptor subunit GluR2 differentially regulates its interaction with PDZ domain-containing proteins. J Neurosci, 20(19):7258-67.
    • Xia J, Chung HJ, Wihler C, Huganir RL, and Linden DJ (2000). Cerebellar long-term depression requires PKC-regulated interactions between GluR2/3 and PDZ domain-containing proteins. Neuron, 28(2):499-510.