Dr. Yan Pi | 皮妍

Zebrafish represent an attractive vertebrate model in which phenotypes at the molecular, cellular and behavioral levels can be rapidly analyzed. The species is demonstrably similar to other mammalian models in functional studies and toxicity testing. Our lab focuses on using zebrafish together with CRISPR technology, a new genome-editing tool, as a platform for highly efficient analysis of genes related to neuropsychiatric disorders. We employ CRISPR technology to efficiently generate zebrafish mutations in selected gene families to illustrate the function of these genes in brain development and social behavior. These models also serve as invaluable tools for future drug screening to identify potential therapeutic candidates.

The genetics module I designed for BIOS will first introduce the developmental process of zebrafish. The application of zebrafish in environmental, drug, and food safety and toxicity assessment will be discussed and such experiments will be designed and performed according to the interest of each student. Students will have the opportunity to observe firsthand aberrant development and design basic experiments of their own.