ZJE Faculty

Prof. David Arnot Professor Personal website

Dr. David Arnot completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He has worked in Boston and New York in the United States as a postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor. He began working for The University of Edinburgh in 1989 working as a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow for the Department of Genetics & Institute of Cell & Population Biology, University of Edinburgh. His most recent position was Professor of Molecular Parasitology with the Institute of Immunology & Infection Research, University of Edinburgh. As a malariologist, he has carried out several malaria field projects, working in Tanzania and Ghana and visiting Burkino Fasso, Egypt, Gabon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique. Since 2010 he has served as Director for Internationalisation for the School of Biological Sciences and interacts frequently with the University’s partners in China, India, and Singapore.

Dr Wei Guo Associate Professor Personal website

Dr Wei completed his PhD in Molecular Genetics at University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2002. He has worked as the postdoctoral fellow for the University of California and most recently as Tenure-track Associate Professor at Tsinghua University, China. His previous research had focused on the study of stem cells and cancer, as well as the role of the PTEN tumor suppressor in hematopoietic stem cells and leukemia.

Dr Xin Xie Associate Professor Personal website

Dr. Xin Xie is currently an Associate Professor at Zhejiang - Edinburgh Institute (Zhejiang) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine (Texas). After receiving his PhD in Genetics from Texas A&M University, Dr. Xie joined Baylor College of Medicine as a Postdoctoral Fellow, later he became an instructor and subsequently, an Assistant Professor. During his postdoctoral study, Dr. Xie has investigated the molecular functions of nuclear receptor COUP-TFII in adult stem cell and relevant diseases. Currently, his research interest focuses on the understanding of how signaling network within tissue stem cells (intestinal, muscle and mesenchymal stem cell) regulates their fundamental properties in both physiological and pathological conditions and translates that knowledge into novel therapeutic approaches to improve the outcome of patients suffering stem cell-related disorders. 

Dr Mikael Bjorklund Associate Professor Personal website

Dr Mikael Bjorklund received his PhD in Biochemistry in 2004 from the University of Helsinki, Finland. He did his post-doctoral training also in Helsinki, implementing genome-scale approaches to his main research on cell growth. In 2009, Mikael started as a principal investigator in Scotland and obtained a prestigious Wellcome Trust Career Development fellowship to support his research. Mikael's main scientific interest is how metabolism and cell size impact cellular fitness and functions and how these are linked to initiation and disease progression in cancers and other metabolic diseases. 

Dr Sebastian Leptihn Associate Professor Personal website

Dr Sebastian Leptihn is an Associate Professor at the Zhejiang University - University of Edinburgh Institute. He has over ten years experience in academic teaching and research in Germany, Singapore and Oxford, after his PhD at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. His research expertise lies at the interface between biology and chemistry to investigate functional and structural aspects of proteins and protein complexes, with the focus on membrane proteins. As the gatekeepers of cells, membrane proteins represent the most important drug targets. To understand fundamental principles of protein insertion, folding and assembly as well as protein function, the Leptihn group uses classical in vitro biochemical and biophysical methods together with state-of-the-art single molecule techniques.

Dr Ahmed Hashash Associate Professor Personal website

Professor Ahmed Hashash completed his PhD from Manchester University, UK. He is a fellow of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and New York University Medical School (MSSM), USA. Prof. Ahmed Hashash worked as a senior biomedical research scientist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. He was Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator of Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine at Keck School of Medicine and Ostrow School of Dentistry of The University of Southern California, USA. In 2016, Prof. Hashash has joined The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Medical School-Zhejiang International Campus, (ZJU) as Tenure-Track Associate Professor and Senior Principal Investigator of Biomedicine, Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine. He is also adjunct Professor at the School of Basic Medical Science and School of Medicine, Zhejiang University. Prof. Hashash has several breakthrough discoveries in genes/enzymes that control stem cell behavior and regenerative medicine.

Dr Ting Gang Chew Assistant Professor Personal website

Dr Chew completed his bachelor’s degree at the National University of Singapore (NUS), before going onto complete his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL), in Singapore in 2009. He has previously held post-doctoral research fellow positions with Institute of Medical Biology (A*STAR, Singapore) and Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology (Warwick University, UK). His current research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of cell division, particularly on the mechanical responses of cell division to the extracellular environments. He is also interested in studying consequences of cytokinesis failures during tissue growth.

Dr Zhi Hong Assistant Professor Personal website

Dr Zhi Hong is currently a postdoc at the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, and went onto complete her PhD in 2011 from the Institute of Genetics & Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. She has worked as a Research Associate for Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Her research focuses on studying the molecular mechanism regulating lysosomal bidirectional transport and investigating the role of lysosomal positioning in invadopodia formation and cancer invasion.

Dr Kuan Yoow Chan Assistant Professor Personal website

Dr. Kuan Yoow Chan is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, University of Manchester. He obtained his degree in Medical Genetics from University of Wales, Swansea. During his PhD training at the University of Hull, he worked on identifying drug targets against the human pathogen, African Trypanosomes. He is currently studying the role of the centrosome in regulating the eukaryotic cell cycle. He is ongoing interest is to understand how centrosomal abnormalities contribute to the deregulation of the cell cycle in human cancers.

Dr Wenwen Huang Assistant Professor

Dr Wenwen Huang completed her PhD in Tufts University, she worked as a guest lecturer in the department of biomedical engineering at Tufts University from May 2015 to July 2018. Her research interests include polymer physics, biomedical engineering and materials science.

Dr Chaochen Wang Assistant Professor

Dr Chaochen Wang completed his PhD degree in Shanghai institute of biochemical cells, Chinese academy of sciences. From 2009 to 2018, he was worked in National Institute of Health(U.S.) as a visiting scholar, researcher and full-time scientist. His research interests are epigenetics, gene editing and stem cells.

Adjunct Faculty(UoE)

Prof. Mike Shipston Professor and Dean of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Mike Shipston graduated with a 1st class Honours degree in Physiology from the University of St Andrews before completing his PhD at the MRC Brain Metabolism Unit. Following a Wellcome Trust Advanced Training Fellowship hosted in Edinburgh with a period at NIEHS, USA he was recruited to a lectureship in Physiology at the University of Edinburgh in 1997 where he established the Membrane Biology Group. In 2003 he was appointed to the Chair of Physiology and established the Centre for Integrative Physiology. In 2015 he was appointed as Dean of Biomedical Sciences in the new Edinburgh Medical School. His research is particularly focused on post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms, such as alternative pre mRNA splicing and protein S-acylation, that control ion channel physiology and how dysregulation may lead to major stress and endocrine related disorders.

Dr John Menzies Undergraduate Programme Director Personal website

Dr John Menzies is a lecturer at ZJE and the Centre for Discovery Brain Research at the University of Edinburgh. John is also the Programme Director for the undergraduate programmes at ZJE. Research in his laboratory focuses on the brain and its crucial role in eating behavior. Unconscious neural systems constantly monitor the body’s energy status and alert us to the availability of particularly energy-dense foods. Because of this, our body weight and food choices are under far less conscious control that we might think. John is interested in the neural correlates of appetite control and food reward, with a view to better understanding energy balance and so-called “food addiction”.

Dr Joanne Murray Associate Professor ZJE and Senior Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Joanne Murray is an Academic Track Senior Lecturer (Zhejiang) and a Principal Investigator in the Centre for Discovery Brain Science, School of Biomedical Sciences. Joanne is a reproductive biologist with a particular interest in how nutrition can affect the reproductive axis. Three areas of current research are: 1. determining the role of hypothalamic melanin concentrating hormone expression in lactation; 2. characterizing the distribution of and interaction between the melanocortin receptors in the male and female reproductive axes; and 3. studying the role of oxygen in the growth and development of the ovarian follicle.

Dr Michael Daw Assistant Professor ZJE and Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Michael Daw is a lecturer based in the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences. Work in the Daw lab studies the development of the electrical properties of neurons and synapses during early life. He has particular expertise in synaptic plasticity and inhibitory interneurons, defects in both of which are implicated in a number developmental disorders. Michael has most recently studied development in genetic models of intellectual disability and epilepsy.

Dr Melanie Stefan Assistant Professor ZJE and Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Melanie Stefan is a computational neurobiologist at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Her research group revolves around using computers to understand learning and memory across different scales: On a small scale, they simulate how molecules inside the brain work together to strengthen connections between neurons. On the large scale, they want to use data from digital educational tools to understand how students learn. Melanie’s background is in Mathematics and Biology, which she studied in her native Austria. She completed her PhD at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge (UK), and then went on to do post-doctoral work in Japan and the US. She joined the University of Edinburgh in 2015.

Dr Sander Van Den Driesche Assistant Professor ZJE and Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Sander van den Driesche is a tenure-track lecturer at the Zhejiang University - University of Edinburgh Institute and at the University of Edinburgh. Sander obtained his PhD degree at the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands, before moving to Edinburgh in 2006, where he joined the MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit as a post-doctoral researcher. In 2011 he became senior post-doc at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health in Edinburgh. Since September 2016 he works for the ZJU/UoE Institute. His research focuses on the fetal origin of male reproductive health disorders and the regulation of the male programming window.

Dr Richard Sloan Assistant Professor ZJE and Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Richard Sloan is a tenure track lecturer at the Zhejiang University - University of Edinburgh Institute and at the University of Edinburgh. Richard obtained his PhD degree from University College London (UCL) in 2007 and then undertook postdoctoral research at the McGill University AIDS Centre in Montreal. He started his own lab at Barts and The London School of Medicine in 2013, before moving up to Edinburgh University to continue his research in the Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine. His research is in the field of intracellular innate immunity and seeks to understand how retroviruses such as HIV can be controlled by innate immune factors. More recently, he has also become interested in how endogenous retroelements in the human genome, such as LINE-1, may be similarly controlled by innate immune factors as occurs with infectious retroviruses like HIV. Collectively, this research may pave the way for new forms of antiviral therapy, provide molecular understanding of immunity and host cell biology, as well as explain patterns of patient disease susceptibility or retroviral zoonosis.

Dr Gracjan Michlewski Associate Professor ZJE and Senior Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Gracjan Michlewski is a Senior Lecturer (Zhejiang) in Biomedical Sciences at The University of Edinburgh. He obtained his PhD and Habilitation from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznan, Poland. Gracjan has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Human Genetics Unit, Medical Research Council in Edinburgh. In 2011, he established his laboratory at The Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, the University of Edinburgh with Medical Research Council Career Development Award. Gracjan's main research interests are associated with regulation of gene expression, RNA processing and innate immune response to RNA viruses.

Dr Paula Brunton Associate Professor ZJE and Senior Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Paula Brunton is currently a Senior Lecturer based at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK. She received her bachelor’s degree in Physiology in 1998 and her PhD in Neuroendocrinology in 2002, both from the University of Edinburgh. Next, she completed post-doctoral training at the Universities of Newcastle and Edinburgh, UK. She joined the Roslin Institute as a Career Track Fellow in 2010 and was promoted to Senior Research Fellow and Group Leader in 2015. Her expertise lies in the area of stress neurobiology, neuroendocrinology and behaviour. Her key research themes are focused on understanding the impact of maternal stress exposure during pregnancy on the mother, the pregnancy, her offspring and on subsequent generations, with a particular emphasis on unearthing the underlying central mechanisms involved and how the effects can be prevented or reversed.

Dr Laura O’Hara Assistant Professor ZJE and Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Laura O'Hara is currently researching the mechanisms by which steroid hormones such as androgens and estrogens act in the hypothalamus and pituitary to control male reproduction and testosterone production. She is also interested in improving the way that biological pathways are depicted as diagrams and have been involved in developing the modified Edinburgh Pathway Notation (mEPN) for use as a dynamic modeling system.

Dr Nicola Romano Assistant Professor ZJE and Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

A graduate of the University of Milan, Italy, Dr Nicola Romanò got his PhD at the University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ. His PhD focussed on the rapid effects of estrogen on GnRH neurons, that control fertility. After completing his PhD, he spent six years at the Institute of Functional Genomics in Montpellier, focussing on the systems that control prolactin secretion. He is generally interested in how hormonal systems adapt to changes in environment, and how that relates to hormonal rhythms. In particular, his research investigates the rhythms of the hormones produced by the pituitary gland, their generation at the cellular and molecular level, and how they affect body physiology. He has a particular interest in the stress and the reproductive axes, and their physiological interactions.

Dr Gedi Luksys Assistant Professor ZJE and Academic-Track Lecturer, The University of Edinburgh Personal website

Dr Gedi Luksys is a Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences (previously at the Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems) and at ZJU-UoE Institute. His research explores several directions of computational cognitive neuroscience, such as modeling animal and human behaviour in various learning, memory and decision-making setups, studying the role of schemas, and employing multi-voxel pattern analysis. He also investigates computational roles of stress and other modulators, how they interact with individual traits to control behaviour and cognition, and how they can be used to improve cognitive performance and alleviate adverse effects of mental disorders.

Adjunct Faculty(ZJU BMS)

Dr Yudong Zhou Professor Personal website

Dr Zhou is a professor at Zhejiang University School of Medicine and an adjunct professor at the Zhejiang University - University of Edinburgh Institute. Zhou received his B.S. in Biology from Hangzhou University, his M.S. in Neurobiology from Shanghai Brain Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his PhD in Neuroscience from Tufts University. After postdoctoral work at Boston University and Harvard Medical School, Zhou joined the faculty of Neurobiology at Zhejiang University in 2011, where he is a principal investigator in the Institute of Neuroscience and the Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology of the Ministry of Health of China. Zhou's research focuses on investigating how inflammatory signaling events interfere with brain circuit formation, causing severe neurological and metabolic conditions. Studying neuroinflammation during development facilitates our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying neural network development, synaptic plasticity, and circuit dynamics, and sheds light on neurodevelopmental and metabolic diseases such as childhood epilepsy, autism, and obesity.

Dr Jingwei Zhao Professor Personal website

Dr Jingwei Zhao graduated from the Fourth Military Medical University of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and received a bachelor's degree in medicine, a master's degree in medicine, and a doctorate in medicine in 1992, 1995, and 2000 respectively. (The doctoral dissertation was jointly developed by the Fourth Military Medical University and the Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences). From August 2000 to October 2004, he was an associate professor at the Institute of Neurobiology, Fudan University. From November 2004 to 2013, he was research associate at the MRC-Wellcome Trust Cambridge Stem Cell Research Institute, MRC Regenerative Medicine Center, and John van Geest Brain Repair Center, specializing in neuroscience. Has been rated as the Shanghai science and technology star, won the first prize of the Ministry of education natural science award (the fourth prize), the Shanghai natural science award first prize (the fourth prize winner). Representative original papers published in SCI Professional Magazine include Cell Stem Cell, Nature Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience, Disease Models and Mechanisms, and Glia.

Dr Hu Hu Professor Personal website

Dr Hu Hu is received his PhD in clinical pharmacology from from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden in 2003 and received post-doctoral training in Center for Molecular and Vascular Biology at the University of Louvain, Belgium from 2004-2005. He has since been enagged in medical teaching and laboratory management. His research poses a long-term commitment to thrombosis and platelet signal transduction studies, intercellular interactions mediated by intercellular adhesion molecules during thrombosis and inflammation, molecular signal transduction of thrombocytes, flow cytometric detection, and the identification of functions and molecular targets for antithrombotic drugs work. He has published a total of 33 SCI-published papers,including magazines such as Blood, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis,and Diabetologia. He presided over 4 National Natural Resources Funds, co-hosted 1 National Natural Science Foundation of Sweden, and participated in several national support projects and major basic research projects.


Dr Lie Wang Professor Personal website

Professor Lie Wang got his in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Shanghai Institutes of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (SIBCB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China in 2004 and then undertook postdoctoral research in Remy Bosselut’s laboratory, Laboratory of Immune Cell Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (Oct 2004-May 2010). He started his own lab in 2010 to study the development of T-lymphocytes in the thymus, which, as one of a few developmental processes that persist throughout life, is a privileged model to study the basic mechanisms of cell differentiation. His work has identified a gene encoding a transcription factor ThPOK (cKrox/Zbtb7b) of the “zinc-finger” family that promotes CD4 T cell differentiation in the thymus. He also demonstrated that directly controls the expression of key genes important for thymocyte survival and for T-cell receptor signaling, through maintaining the appropriate H3K4me3 on their promoters. Key Research: Nature immunology, Immunity, Nature communication.

Dr Di Wang Professor Personal website

Dr Di Wang completed his PhD in Microbiology in 2008 from the State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan University. His research focuses on reciprocal interactions between the metabolic system and immune cells play pivotal roles in the pathogenesis of diverse inflammatory diseases, but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. The major focus of the group is to provide a molecular understanding of immunity and inflammation. The group are interested in receptors involved in innate immunity, such as Nod-like receptors (NLRs – including Nlrp3), and also metabolic signals activated. The role played by this system in inflammatory diseases is also under investigation. 

Dr Stijn van der Veen Professor

Dr Stijn van der Veen is a professor in Microbiology and Assistant Dean at the Zhejiang University School of Basic Medical Sciences. He received his PhD at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, where he worked on stress survival of the bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. He subsequently became postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at Wageningen University and investigated the mechanisms that L. monocytogenes employs to form biofilms and generate diversity. Afterwards, he became research associate at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at the University of Oxford, UK, where he studied host-microbe interactions and vaccine development against Neisseria meningitidis. He has published over 30 papers in international high-impact peer-reviewed journals such as PLoS Pathogens, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Infection and Immunity, International Journal of Medical Microbiology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. His current research is focused on the mechanisms to that Neisseria gonorrhoeae and N.meningitis employ to colonize the human host and cause disease and translate this knowledge to the development of vaccines and targets for intervention.


Dr Yuehai Ke Professor Personal website

Dr Yuehai Ke completed his PhD at the Fudan University Institute of Genetics. His basic research focuses on pulmonary signal transduction, respiratory molecular medicinemolecular cell biology, interstitial pneumonia, and pulmonary vascular disease.

Dr Yiting Zhou Professor Personal website

Dr Yiting Zhouceived received his PhD from the National University of Singapore (Prof Low Boon Chuan Lab) in 2005 and received post-doctoral training and promotion from the Prof Low Boon Chuan Lab and the Prof Emanuel Hanski lab from 2005 to 2011. Since 2012, his work has focused on the study of motor system diseases and stem cell differentiation mechanisms, including muscle differentiation, mesodermal stem cell differentiation to tendon, and osteoarthritis-related molecular mechanisms. Current research findings include: the regulatory mechanism of the synergistic interaction between Rab and molecular motor proteins on myoblast differentiation, and the abnormally high expression of Rac1 activity in osteoarthritis. 

Dr Xiaohang Yang Professor Personal website

Dr Xiaohang Yang completed his PhD programme in biochemistry from the Dartmouth College before going onto hold positions at world-renowned institutes including MIT, National University of Singapore and IMBC. His research interests are in neurodevelopment.