Dong Yan, PhD, PI
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Associate Professor of Cell Biology
Associate Professor in Neurobiology
Affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
Contact Information

Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Yan Lab External Site

344 CARL

Yan Lab

Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neural circuit formation during development and regeneration following injury. Through classic genetic analysis, laser microsurgery, in vivo live imaging technique, and molecular and cellular manipulations in C. elegans, we are discovering conserved mechanisms that play key roles in neural circuit formation, axon regeneration, and degeneration.


Yan Publications

Umano, A., K. Fang, Z. Qu, J. B. Scaglione, S. Altinok, C. J. Treadway, E. T. Wick, et al. “The molecular basis of spinocerebellar ataxia type 48 caused by a de novo mutation in the ubiquitin ligase CHIP.” J Biol Chem, April 7, 2022, 101899.

Zhang, Albert, and Dong Yan. “C. elegans as a model to study glial development.” Febs J 289, no. 6 (March 2022): 1476–85.

Meng, Lingfeng, and Dong Yan. “NLR-1/CASPR Anchors F-Actin to Promote Gap Junction Formation.” Dev Cell 55, no. 5 (December 7, 2020): 574-587.e3.

Zhang, Albert, Ziqiang Guan, Kyle Ockerman, Pengyuan Dong, Jiansheng Guo, Zhiping Wang, and Dong Yan. “Regulation of glial size by eicosapentaenoic acid through a novel Golgi apparatus mechanism.” Plos Biol 18, no. 12 (December 2020): e3001051.

Qu, Zhongwei, Albert Zhang, and Dong Yan. “Robo functions as an attractive cue for glial migration through SYG-1/Neph.” Elife 9 (November 19, 2020).

Zhang, Albert, Kentaro Noma, and Dong Yan. “Regulation of Gliogenesis by lin-32/Atoh1 in Caenorhabditis elegans.” G3 (Bethesda) 10, no. 9 (September 2, 2020): 3271–78.

Zhang, Albert, Brian D. Ackley, and Dong Yan. “Vitamin B12 Regulates Glial Migration and Synapse Formation through Isoform-Specific Control of PTP-3/LAR PRTP Expression.” Cell Rep 30, no. 12 (March 24, 2020): 3981-3988.e3.

E, Lezi, Ting Zhou, Sehwon Koh, Marian Chuang, Ruchira Sharma, Nathalie Pujol, Andrew D. Chisholm, Cagla Eroglu, Hiroaki Matsunami, and Dong Yan. “An Antimicrobial Peptide and Its Neuronal Receptor Regulate Dendrite Degeneration in Aging and Infection.” Neuron 97, no. 1 (January 3, 2018): 125-138.e5.

Kurup, Naina, Dong Yan, Karina Kono, and Yishi Jin. “Differential regulation of polarized synaptic vesicle trafficking and synapse stability in neural circuit rewiring in Caenorhabditis elegans.” Plos Genet 13, no. 6 (June 2017): e1006844.

Meng, Lingfeng, Albert Zhang, Yishi Jin, and Dong Yan. “Regulation of neuronal axon specification by glia-neuron gap junctions in C. elegans.” Elife 5 (October 21, 2016).

Lab Members

Lab Manager
Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellow
Undergraduate Student

Yan Opportunities


We are interested in recruiting postdoctoral fellows with backgrounds and interests in neurobiology, cell and molecular biology and genetics.  Applicants should send their CV, a brief statement of research interests and goals, and the names and contact information of three references to Dong Yan at