Z Yan Wang, PhD
Assistant Professor
Psychology, Biology
Weill Neurohub Term Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
zywang22@uw.edu (she/her)
Z Yan Wang Faculty webpage

What is your Research Focus?

Death unites all living organisms. How do nervous systems organize, encode, and mediate end-of-life transitions and death? Our lab investigates the nervous systems of octopuses and bees, two ideal systems for studying this question from evolutionary and developmental perspectives. We use multiple high-dimensional omics, behavioral, and molecular approaches to uncover fundamental rules of aging, senescence, and death.


What opportunities at the UW excite you?

I am energized by the support for multidisciplinary research at the UW. I feel this in my home department of psychology, which has non-clinical/clinical research and animal/human research, and in my field of neuroscience, which spans many departments across different colleges here.¬†Although I have only been here a few months, interactions with students and faculty from other areas have already been influential on my thinking and my work. For example, a new course that I am developing, Racism in Neuroscience, has benefitted from conversations with faculty in the humanities and undergrad and grad students across disciplines here at the UW. The course will run for the first time this winter, with grad students from several different life science programs, and may be open to undergrads in the future. The potential for innovative and daring scholarship does indeed feel boundless, and¬†I’m excited to see how my work can deepen and grow here.

Z Yan Wang (she/her)