Yun Fang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine Department of Medicine
Work 5841 S. Maryland Ave MC 6076, Office: M-648 Chicago, IL 60637 Work Phone: 773.702.0940 Work Fax: 773.702.6500
Photo of Yun Fang, Ph.D.

Biographical Info

Research Interest

Dr. Fang’s research group has broad interests and deep expertise in vascular biology, non-coding genome, and nano-medicine. We have contributed significantly to new molecular mechanisms leading to arterial (atherosclerosis) and pulmonary (acute lung injury) vascular diseases and strive to develop innovative nanomedicine-based therapeutic strategy to treat vascular diseases. Our studies investigated molecular understandings of endothelial homeostasis governed by mechanical stimuli (blood flow and cyclic stretch), with emphasis upon regulation of non-coding RNAs, transcription factors, ion channels, G protein signaling, and genetic variance. The work in the laboratory combines multi-disciplinary approaches including high-throughput (single-cell) sequencing, bioinformatics, human genetics, genome editing, bioengineering systems, materials science, cell/molecular biology techniques as well as experimental in vivo and in vitro models. We have applied abovementioned technologies elucidating novel endothelial mechano-transduction mechanisms related to genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of coronary artery disease (CAD) and acute lung injury (ALI). Our results demonstrate that disturbed flow related to CAD significantly reduces endothelial PhosPhatidic-Acid-Phosphatase-type-2B (PPAP2B/LPP3/PLPP3, a GWAS CAD gene) through miR-92a up-regulation and KLF2 suppression. In addition, mechano-sensitive transcription factor KLF2, notably reduced in inflamed lungs, forms a highly interconnected network with GWAS-implicated AIL genes. Our recent results demonstrate for the first time that a human single-nucleotide polymorphism contributes to critical endothelial mechanotransduction and metabolism mechanisms and suggest that human haplotypes and related cis-regulatory elements provide a previously unappreciated layer of regulatory control in cellular mechano-sensing mechanisms. Moreover, we have engineered innovative polymeric nano-carriers (polyelectrolyte complex micelles) that preferentially target inflamed endothelium to deliver therapeutic nucleotides, aiming to treat these dys-regulated mechano-sensing mechanisms in atherosclerosis and acute lung injury.

Honors and Awards

Young Investigator Award Finalist, The 13th International Vascular Biology Meeting, Toronto, Canada (2004)
Poster Award, 3rd IME Research Symposium, Philadelphia, USA (2004)
Predoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association 2004-2006 (2004-2006)
Elite Graduate Student Fellowship, Ministry of Education, Taiwan (2005-2006)
Trainee Travel Award to 14th International Vascular Biology Meeting (Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands), North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO) (2006)
Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association (2007-2010)
Travel Award to Gordon Research Conference (Atherosclerosis) (2009)
Travel Award to 16th International Vascular Biology Meeting (Los Angeles, USA), North American Vascular Biology Organization (NAVBO) (2010)
Travel Award to Keystone Symposium in MicroRNAs and Human Disease, Banff, Canada (2011)
Candidate of UChicago for the Harold S. Geneen Charitable Trust Awards Program (2017)
Candidate of UChicago for the Mallinckrodt Scholar’s Program (2018)
Leif B. Sorensen Faculty Research Award, University of Chicago (2018)

Featured Publications

For a complete list of publications click here:


  • Ph.D., 2006, University of Pennsylvania, Bioengineering
  • M.S., 2002, University of Pennsylvania, Biotechnology
  • B.S., 1999, National Taiwan University, Microbiology & Plant Pathology


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