Lab Overview

Currently our lab has 1 professor, 3 technicians, 2 post-doctoral fellow, 17 students. Dr. Kai Yuan is currently a professor in the Xiangya Hospital and an adjunct professor in the School of Life Sciences, Central South University. He obtained the BS degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 2004 and the Ph.D degree in 2009. He was a postdoctoral researcher and specialist at University of California San Francisco, with Prof. Patrick O’Farrell (2010-2016). He is a recipient of the National Thousand Talents Program for Young Scientists. Dr. Yuan’s group uses fly model to study early embryonic development, and patient-derived organoids to dissect molecular mechanisms of cancer from a developmental perspective.

Our lab is equipped with state-of-the-art ZEISS LSM 880 with Airyscan confocal microscope for fast and gentle imaging, 3D imaging processing workstation with Imaris image analysis software, Leica M205 fluorescence stereo microscope, real-time PCR etc. The model organisms we are using include fruit flies, mice, and human samples. Our research is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Department (HNST), Central South University, and Xiangya Hospital.

We welcome highly motivated students, postdocs,
and faculties to join or collaborate with us.

Zip Code: 410008

Email: (Kai Yuan) (Lu Lv)

Tel: +86-731-89752073

Our Address is: Yuan Lab No. 87 Xiangya Road, Kaifu Distrcit, Changsha City, Hunan, China.

Research Direction

Among the approximate 6.4 billion nucleotides of DNA in human genome, protein-coding sequences comprise less than 2%, whereas repeat content accounts for at least 50%. Yet, compared to the heavily-studied protein coding sequences, our understandings about the biological and biomedical significance of the repeat sequences are still very limited. Our lab is investigating the functions and malfunctions of those repetitive regions under different developmental and disease contexts.

Repression of repeat sequences in development

Generally speaking, repetitive sequences in the genome consist of simple repeats, blocks of tandemly repeated sequences, as well as transposable elements (TEs) and their derivatives. Many of these sequences become active during epigenetic reprogramming in the early embryo, and need to be silenced later on. We are dissecting the mechanisms involved in both activation and repression of repeat sequences and TEs in embryonic cells, in order to uncover their biological contributions to the development of a living organism.

De-repression of repeats in disease and aging

Under many disease conditions or during aging, repetitive sequences often become de-repressed. However, their clinical significance hasn’t been fully demonstrated. By collaborating with clinical doctors, we are assessing abnormal activations of repeats and TEs in patient samples, with the hope to better understand disease etiology and perhaps to find novel treatment strategies.