Assistant Professor
Molecular and Human Genetics
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States
McNair Scholar
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States
Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States


BA from University of Science and Technology of China
Physical Chemistry
PhD from University of California
Post-Doctoral Fellowship at University of Illinois
Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Harvard University

Professional Interests

  • Single cell analyses, tumorigenesis, genome instability

Professional Statement

The research of our laboratory lies in the interface between novel single cell technologies and quantitative biology. We pursue the development of new quantitative and high-throughput methods for characterizing genomic, epigenetic and transcriptional variations at single cell resolution.

With the rapid development of next-generation sequencing technology, high-throughput sequencing has become a powerful tool for biological research. In our lab, we are interested in examining the genome at single cell resolution, in contrast to the genome averaged from an ensemble of cells. With the development of new single-cell whole genome amplification method, we are able to detect dynamic genomic variations between individual tumor cells. In addition to the genome, we have developed a quantitative single-cell RNA-seq method (MATQ-seq) with ~90% sensitivity. Using MATQ-seq, we successfully detected transcription burst related noise. We have applied MATQ-seq to investigate both heterogeneous tumor cells and the heterogeneous microenvironment, in particular, for pancreatic cancer, small-cell lung cancer, and breast cancer.

We are interested in identifying the early driver mutations of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. To do so, we use both CAS9 mice for in-vivo screening as well as transgenic mice for focused studies of genes of interest. MATQ-seq has been applied to allow us to profile the transcriptome of early precursor lesions.

For translational research, we will actively pursue clinical applications of single cell techniques, including prenatal genetic testing as well as an early cancer diagnosis.

Selected Publications


New Innovator Award
NIH Director's program