ICGEB RRC in China welcomes new Group Leader

This month we introduce the team headed by Dr. Yan Ge to the ICGEB global community!

Dr. Yan Ge has recently joined the ICGEB China Regional Research Centre (RRC) as a Principal Investigator leading a laboratory conducting translational research on autoimmune disease for better understanding, prevention and treatment of the disease.

Dr. Ge obtained her MPhil and PhD degrees from the University of Virginia, USA. As an MPhil student, she won the 2011 Pfizer Initiative in International Health award and conducted a summer project in Tanzania, Africa, where she developed a diagnostic assay for tuberculosis and taught the local researchers how to perform this assay.

Her PhD thesis work uncovered new genetic determinants underlying distinct clinical traits of systemic lupus erythematosus (a common autoimmune disease) in a mouse model, paving the way for individualised treatment of the disease. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida, USA, Dr. Ge won two fellowship awards. At this time, she identified novel genetic risk factors and molecular mechanisms underpinning autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes (another common autoimmune disease) in humans, thus revealing potential new biomarkers and drug targets. Before joining ICGEB, Dr. Ge was an independent research faculty member at the University of Florida, USA.

Dr. Ge’s Group at the ICGEB China RRC includes an experienced PhD researcher and two fourth-year undergraduate students majoring in Biological Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Engineering at Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Hanlin College, China. For the development of novel therapies and precision medicine for autoimmune disease, Dr. Ge’s team is (1) employing multidisciplinary approaches (including both wet-lab and dry-lab techniques) to elucidate the molecular networks underlying autoimmune response and specific clinical traits of autoimmune disease in humans, and (2) leveraging these new insights to develop better preventive and therapeutic strategies for autoimmune disease, such as novel biomarkers and biologics, and polygenic risk scores for autoimmunity in Han Chinese.

Dr. Ge commenced her operations at the China RRC on the 1st of September this year, and the ICGEB is delighted to have her as part of the international scientific faculty of the Organisation.