Currently, Poo is the Paul Licht Distinguished Professor in Biology in the Division of Neurobiology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Poo is also founding Director of the Institute of Neuroscience at the Chinese Academy of Sciences since 1999.
Poo has received many awards and honors, including P.R.China International Science and Technology Cooperation Award in 2005, and was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences US in 2009. Mu-ming Poo completed his undergraduate education in physics at Tsinghua University in Taiwan. He received his PhD in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. It was there that his research interest shifted from physics to neuroscience.