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, Ph.D.

Weiwei received her PhD degree in Shanghai Jiao Tong University in June 2016. During the PhD training, she attended a joint PhD 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 and small molecule 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.



Daoyuan Dong, Ph.D.

Daoyuan received her PhD degree from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia in May 2017. Her thesis is focused on developing targeted drug delivery system for cancer treatment. Daoyuan joined Dr. Sun’s lab in November 2017. She is currently working on investigating the RNA mediated toxicity by determining the C9orf72 RNA repeats-binding proteins, and also developing platforms to understand DPR-mediated toxicity.




Visiting Students

Yongzhi Xie

Yongzhi is a Ph.D candidate student from the Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University. He focuses on neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson disease and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, in State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics in China. Yongzhi attended the joint Ph.D program and joined Dr. Sun’s lab in October 2017. His current research focused on compounds screening on poly-dipeptide production from C9orf72 repeat expansion in ALS and FTD.




Research Technician

Shirui Yan

Shirui received her B.S. in Neuroscience from The Ohio State University, in Columbus, OH. As a Research Technician, Shirui is responsible for ordering supplies, maintaining solutions, and assisting with experiments. Shirui is particularly interested in molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis caused by ALS-causative mutations in RNA-binding proteins and C9orf72 repeat expansion.





Undergraduate Students

Gary Xian

Andres Makarem