Our Group

Principal Investigator

shuying-sunShuying Sun, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology
Brain Science Institute
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Shuying carried out her undergraduate studies at Shandong University in China. She went on to obtain her Ph.D. from Stony Brook University in Dr. Adrian Krainer’s lab at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, focusing on the basic mechanisms of RNA processing, especially the regulation of alternative splicing and function of RNA-binding proteins. From this experience, she became fascinated by the complexity of RNA processing pathways in nervous system. She had postdoc training in Dr. Don Cleveland’s laboratory at UCSD and applied knowledge and techniques in basic RNA biology to understand how dysfunctions of RNA metabolism provoke neurodegeneration, an increasingly important theme in human diseases, particularly neurological disorders. Shuying started her own laboratory in Pathology Department and Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University in July 2016. Her team is exploring RNA metabolism dysfunction and RNA-targeting therapy in neurodegenerative diseases.

Postdoctoral Fellows

weiwei-cheng-2Weiwei Cheng, Ph.D

Weiwei received her PhD degree in Shanghai Jiao Tong University in June 2016. During the PhD training, she attended a joint Ph.D program in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Thyroid Research at Johns Hopkins from 2014 to 2016 and focused on investigating aberrant MAPK and PI3K/Akt pathway in thyroid cancer. Weiwei joined Dr. Sun’s lab in October 2016. Her current research focused on investigating how RNA-binding proteins, signaling pathways and stress conditions influence Repeat Associated non-ATG (RAN) translation. She is also interested in finding genetic modifiers of C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion.



 Shaopeng Wang, Ph.D

Shaopeng received his doctoral degree in June 2016, from Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His graduate work, in Dr. Chunhai Fan’s lab, mainly focused on superresolution imaging and live cell dynamic imaging. He joined Dr. Sun’s lab in December 2016. Shaopeng is interested in revealing the mechanisms of RNA mediated toxicity in ALS/FTD by combining imaging methods with CRISPR technology.



Research Technician

 Alexander Mestre

Alex received his B.S. in Biology from Spring Hill College, in Mobile, AL. As a Research Technician, Alex is responsible for ordering supplies, maintaining solutions, and assisting with experiments. Alex is particularly interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms of RAN translation in C9 ALS/FTD.