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Pathology & Immunology

Houston, Texas

Pathology and Immunology
Pathology & Immunology
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Laising Yen, Ph.D.Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D. Yale University , New Haven , CT

Post-doctoral Training

  • Yale University, School of Medicine
  • Harvard Medical School


  • RNA biology
  • Molecular biology

Area of Interest

  • The research goals of my laboratory are to harness the power of RNA to create new therapeutic instruments for medicine and biological studies. Our current research areas include: The development of RNA-based molecular switches that can be turned on or off by small molecules for gene regulation. RNA-based cellular biosensors for detecting specific intracellular molecules in diseases, and The identification of cancer biomarkers for diagnosis and therapy. We are particularly interested in applying these technologies in the fields of cancer, stem cell, and diabetes. See link ( for details.

Current Position

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology


  • Duncan Scholar, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Hereditary Disease Foundation, Post-doctoral Fellowship Grant
  • Yale Graduate Fellowship

Representative Publications

  • Yen, L ., B.R. Stockwell, and R.C. Mulligan. A mammalian cell-based assay for screening inhibitors of RNA cleavage . Methods in Molecular Biology , (2008 in press).
  • Yen, L ., M. Magnier, R. Weissleder, B.R. Stockwell, and R.C. Mulligan. Identification of inhibitors of ribozyme self-cleavage in mammalian cells via high-throughput screening of chemical libraries . RNA , 12:797-806 (2006). PMID: 16556935.
  • Yen, L ., J. Svendsen, J-S. Lee, J.T. Gray, M. Magnier, T. Baba, R.J. D'Amato and R.C. Mulligan. Exogenous control of mammalian gene expression via modulation of RNA self-cleavage. Nature , 431:471-476 (2004). PMID: 15386015.
  • Yen, L. Gonzalez-Zulueta M, Feldman A, Yuan Y, Fryer H, Dawson T, Dawson V, and R.G. Kalb. Reduction of functional NMDA Receptor in neurons by RNase P-mediated cleavage of the NR1 mRNA. J. Neurochem . 76:1386-94 (2001). PMID: 11238723.
  • Yen, L ., S.M. Strittmater and R.G. Kalb. Sequence-specific cleavage of Huntington mRNA by catalytic DNA. Annals of Neurology , 46:366-373 (1999). PMID: 10482267.
  • Jakowec, M.W., L. Yen and R.G. Kalb. In situ hybridization analysis of AMPA receptor subunit gene expression in the developing rat spinal cord. Neuroscience 67:909-920 (1995). PMID: 7675213.
  • Yen, L . and R.G. Kalb. Recovery from spinal cord injury: New approaches. Neuroscientist , 1:321-327 (1995).
  • Yen, L ., J. Sibley and M. Constantine-Paton. Analysis of synaptic distribution within single retinal axonal arbors after NMDA treatment. J. Neurosci . 15:4712-4725 (1995). PMID: 7540683.
  • Yen, L ., J. Sibley and M. Constantine-Paton. Fine-structural alterations and clustering of developing synapses after chronic treatment with low levels of NMDA. J. Neurosci . 13:4949-4960 (1993). PMID: 8229207.

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