Welcome Jia-Ray Yu, Ph.D., to the Children's National Research & Innovation Campus

The Center for Cancer and Immunology Research (CCIR) faculty looks forward to welcoming Jia-Ray Yu, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion, to the Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus, in Washington, D.C., this fall. 
Jia-Ray Yu
Ji-Ray Yu, Ph.D. at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion

Dr. Yu is also an assistant professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The Yu lab will be located on the Virginia Tech floor in the Children’s National Research Institute building on the campus which will enable close collaborations with the CCIR research teams.

Dr. Yu's research group studies regulations of gene expression at the chromatin level. Chromatin, the material which forms chromosomes, packs genetic material into cells. As chromatin is a highly compartmentalized structure, the temporo-spatial regulations of chromatin-associated factors are crucial for their collective functions in shaping the epigenome.

However, these natural principles are often dysregulated in human diseases such as congenital developmental syndromes and various types of cancer. Dr. Yu' research group aims to answer the fundamental question: How can chromatin-associated molecules be targeted to stop aggressive cancers?

"We ask fundamental questions in chromatin biology and seek to understand how these multifaceted regulations are dysregulated in human cancers."
Jia-Ray Yu, Ph.D.Principal Investigator

The Yu lab probes these questions by integrating comprehensive research tools in chromatin biochemistry, reconstituted systems, deep-sequencing, molecular and cell biology and cancer biology.

Current lab focuses include the following directions: 1) functional regulation of chromatin modifying enzymes by novel protein-RNA and protein-protein interactions; 2) how disruption of balancing between heterochromatin and euchromatin contributes to early oncogenesis in pediatric brain cancers; and 3) non-histone targets of histone-modifying enzymes.

Dr. Yu is currently recruiting for a postdoctoral and a research technician position. Openings can be found on the Virginia Tech Yu Lab site.