• Yanhao obtained her BS and PhD degrees in Biomedical Sciences from West China School of Public Health, Sichuan University, China. Yanhao joined Dr. Liu's research group in 2014 as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying trinucleotide repeat (TNR) instability associated with human neurodegeneration. Specifically, she has been studying TNR instability via base lesions and base excision repair (BER) and their interplay with chromatin structures. For the first time, she demonstrated that BER of a DNA base lesion located in different positions of a CTG repeat tract determines if the repeats are expanded or deleted. Furthermore, she has discovered that the crosstalk between BER and chromatin structures can predominantly shorten expanded GAA repeats that cause Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), suggesting that the coordination between BER and chromatin structures can be developed as a treatment for TNR expansion-related neurodegenerative diseases. Yanhao has published more than 20 research articles in peer-reviewed journals from her research in Dr. Liu’s group, including Nature Communication, Nucleic Acids Research, PLoS One, Cells, and DNA Repair. She received the 2015 Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society Student and New Investigator Travel Award and 2018 FASEB Research Conference Travel Award.

research interests

  • Trinucleotide repeat (TNR) instability associated with human neurodegeneration; TNR

selected scholarly works & creative activities

full name

  • Yanhao Lai