Wei Yan M.D., Ph.D.

Professor

Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology | Department of Physiology and Cell Biology

Wei Yan

Contact Wei Yan M.D., Ph.D.

Wei Yan

Education

  • Post-doc, 2000-2003, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX (Mentor: Martin M. Matzuk, M.D., Ph.D.)
  • Ph.D., 2000, University of Turku, Turku, Finland (Mentor: Jorma Toppari, M.D., Ph.D.). Thesis: Expression, Regulation, and Function of Stem Cell Factor in the Rat Testis
  • M.D., 1990, China Medical University, Shenyang, China

Biography

Dr. Wei Yan obtained his MD from China Medical University in 1990 and his PhD from University of Turku, Finland in 2000. After post-doc training at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, Dr. Yan started his own lab in the University of Nevada School of Medicine in 2004. Dr. Yan is currently Professor of Physiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology. He has published >80 peer-reviewed research articles, many of which appeared in high impact journals, including Nature Genetics, PNAS, Nucleic Acids Research, RNA, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Developmental Biology, etc. Dr. Yan received numerous prestigious awards including the 2009 Nevada High Education System Regents’ Rising Researcher Award, the 2009 Young Investigator Award of the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR), the 2012 Young Andrologist Award of the American Society of Andrology (ASA) and the 2013 Nevada Healthcare Hero Award for Research and Technology. Dr. Yan is now a standing member of the NIH CMIR study section and an editorial board member of three international journals on Reproductive Biology (Biology of Reproduction, Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology & Asian Journal of Andrology). He also serves as an Associate Editor for Biology and Reproduction and an Academic Editor for PLoS ONE. Dr. Yan’s research interests lie in the regulation of gametogenesis with an emphasis on spermiogenesis. He believes that the malfunction of late spermiogenesis-specific genes, either through genetic or epigenetic mechanisms, is involved in many forms of sperm defects in idiopathic male infertility patients. Since these late spermiogenesis-specific genes are unique to male haploid germ cells and their disruptions rarely trigger germ cell depletion within the testis, he proposes that these genes and gene products are excellent male non-hormonal contraceptive targets. His lab is currently working on coding and noncoding genes that control spermatogenesis, and epigenetic contribution of sperm to fertilization, early embryonic development and adult disease etiology.

Training

  • Dec. 2000—Jan. 2003: Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
  • Apr. 2000—Dec. 2000: Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Physiology, University of Turku, Finland.
  • Oct. 1996—Mar. 2000: Ph.D. Student, Departments of Physiology and Pediatrics, University of Turku, Finland; Awarded Ph.D. degree on March 22, 2000;
  • Jan. 1996—Sept. 1996: Visiting Researcher, Department of Medical Genetics, University of Turku, Finland.
  • Sept. 1992—Dec. 1995: Graduate Student, Department of Forensic Medicine, China Medical University. Research Associate, DNA Laboratory, Forensic Science Institute of Liaoning Province, Shenyang, China.
  • Aug. 1990—Sept. 1992: Coroner, Institute of Forensic Science of Liaoning Province, Shenyang, China;
  • Sept. 1985—Jul. 1990: Medical Student, China Medical University, Shenyang, China; Awarded Bachelor of Medicine degree (Equivalent to American M.D. degree) in July 1990

Academic Membership

  • Sigma Xi
  • The Endocrine Society
  • The American Society of Andrology
  • The Society for the Study of Reproduction

Award/Honor

  • 2012 The American Society of Andrology Young Andrologist Award.
  • 2009 The Nevada High Education System Regents’ Rising Researcher Award.
  • 2009 The Society for the Study of Reproduction Young Investigator Award.

Teaching Interest And Experience

Basic medical courses for the 1st year medical students including Gross Anatomy, Embryology, Histology, System Physiology and Molecular and Cell Biology.

2004-Present:

  • System Physiology (PCB611): 1st year medical students
  • Clinical Embryology (PCB604): 1st year medical students
  • Practical Histology (PCB602): 1st year medical students
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB710): CMB graduate students

Professional Committee and Activity

Journal Editorial Board

  • July 2009-present Member Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
  • July 2009-present Member Biology of Reproduction
  • May 2011-May 2015 Member Asian Journal of Andrology
  • June 2011-Present Member microRNA

Ad Hoc Journal Reviewer (2-3 Manuscript Per Month)

Nature Genetics; Current Biology; Nucleic Acid Research Molecular Endocrinology; Developmental Biology; Cell Death and Differentiation; Endocrinology; European Journal of Endocrinology; Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology; International Journal of Andrology; Reproduction; Human Reproduction Update; Biology of Reproduction; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; Oncogene

Grant Reviewer

  • 2010-2015 Standing member, CMIR study section, NIH/CSR
  • 2011 Special Emphasis Panel for a PO1 grant, NIH/CSR
  • 2009 Special Emphasis Panel: Epigenetic Processes in Development, NIH (12/16/09–02/16/10).
  • 2009 CMIR Study Section, NIH (12/10/09 – 01/28/10).
  • 2009 The Czech Science Foundation (08/19/09 – 10/10/10).
  • 2009 The Welcome Trust, UK (10/02/09-11/01/09).
  • 2009 UROP Summer Research Fellowship Award, Nevada-INBRE (03/12/09-03/23/-9).
  • 2009 Oversea reviewer for the key project grants, the Chinese National Science Foundation
  • 2009 ZRG1-EMNR-C 58 Study Section, reviewer for the RC1 grants, NIH
  • 2008 DEV1 Study Section, reviewer for the RO1 and R21 grants, NIH
  • 2007 Gant reviewer for the Research Council for Earth and Life Science (ALW), Netherland Organization for Scientific Research (NOW)

UNR Committee Service

Society Level:

  • 2010-present: Member of the Program Committee for the American Society of Andrology
  • 2012-present: Member of the Nominating Committee for the American Society of Andrology

University level:

  • 2007-Present: Member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
  • 2009-2009: Member of the Lab Animal Medicine Review Committee for the Provost and VPR
  • 2008-2010: Member of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Research Committee
  • 2011-Present: The Nevada Proteomic Center Steering Committee

Medical School level:

  • 2004-2009: Regular member on the admission committee of the Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology Graduate Program
  • 2012-2015: Member of the UNSOM Faculty Council

Departmental levels:

  • 2005-2010: Member on five New Faculty Search Committees

Professional experience

  • Professor (2013-present, tenured): Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV
  • Associate Professor (2009-2012, tenured): Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV
  • Laboratory Director (2004-2011): Andrology Lab, Northern Nevada Women’s Health Specialists, Reno, NV
  • Assistant Professor (2004-2008, tenure-track): Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV
  • Instructor (2003-2004): Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

Selected publications

2012

  • Idler, KR, Hennig, GW, Yan W. . Bioinformatic Identification of Novel Elements Potentially Involved in mRNA Fate Control during Spermatogenesis. Biology of Reproduction 87 (6) 138:1-10. Published ahead of print October 10, 2012, doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.112.102434
  • Ortogero N, Hennig GW, Langille C, Ro S, McCarrey JR, Yan W. . Computer-Assisted Annotation of the Sertoli Cell Small RNA Transcriptome. Biology of Reproduction 88 (1) 3:1-10. Published ahead of print November 7, 2012, doi:10.1095/biolreprod.112.102269
  • Bao J, Yan W. . Male germline control of transposable elements. (Review) Biology of Reproduction 86 (5) 162, 1-14
  • Bao J, Li D, Wang L, Wu J, Hu Y, Wang Z, Chen Y, Cao X, Jiang C, Yan W*, Xu C. . microRNA-449 and microRNA-34b/c function redundantly in murine testes by targeting the E2F transcription factor-Retinoblastoma protein (E2F-pRb) pathway. Journal of Biological Chemistry 287(26): 21686-21698. (*co-corresponding author)
  • Ro S, Song R, Park C, Hennig GW, Zheng H, Yan W. . Mitochondrial genome-encoded small RNAs are essential for normal mitochondrial gene expression. In revision
  • Wu Q, Song R, Ortogero N, Zheng H, Evanoff R, Small CL, Griswold MD, Namekawa SH, Royo H, Turner JM, Yan W. . The RNase III Enzyme DROSHA Is Essential for microRNA Production and Spermatogenesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 287(30): 25173-25190

2011

  • Idler RK, Yan W. . Control of messenger RNA fate by RNA binding proteins: an emphasis on mammalian spermatogenesis. (Review) Journal of Andrology 33: 309-337
  • Song R, Hennig G, Wu Q, Jose C, Zheng H, Yan W. . Male germ cells express abundant endogenous siRNAs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 108:13159-64
  • Park C, Yan W, Ward SM, Hwang SJ, Wu Q, Hatton W, Park J, Sanders KM, Ro S. . MicroRNAs dynamically remodel gastrointestinal smooth muscle cells. PLoS ONE 6(4): e18628
  • Bao J, Zhang J, Song R, Zheng H, Yan W. . Ran-binding protein 17 is preferentially expressed in the testis and is associated with the XY body and manchette during spermatogenesis. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 333:134-142
  • Park C, Hennig GW, Sanders KM, Cho JH, Hatton WJ, Redelman D, Park JK, Ward SM, Miano JM, Yan W, Ro S. . SRF-dependent microRNAs regulate gastrointestinal smooth muscle cell phenotypes. Gastroenterology 141(1): 164-175
  • Bao J, Wang L, Lei J, Hu Y, Liu Y, Shen H, Yan W, Xu C. . STK31 (TDRD8) is dynamically regulated throughout mouse spermatogenesis and interacts with MIWI protein. Histochemistry and Cell Biology 137(3): 377-89

2010

  • Ro S, Park C, Jin J, Zheng H, Blair P, Redelman D, Ward SM, Yan W, Sanders KM. . A model to study the phenotypic changes of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in gastrointestinal diseases. Gastroenterology 138(3): 1068-78.e1-2
  • Ro S, Yan W. . Detection and quantitative analysis of small RNAs by PCR. Methods in Molecular Biology 629:295-305
  • Song R, Ro S, Yan W. . In situ hybridization detection of microRNAs. Methods in Molecular Biology 629:287-94
  • Ro S, Yan W. . Small RNA cloning. Methods in Molecular Biology 629:273-85
  • Bao J, Zhang J, Zheng H, Yan W. . Ubiquilin1is localized to the junction of Sertoli cell and developing spermatids. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 327:89-97
  • Yan W, Slaymaker S, Si Y, Jin J, Zheng H, Aslanian A, Saunders L, Verdin E, Charo IF. . Zmynd15 encodes a transcription repressor essential for late spermiogenesis and male fertility. Journal of Biological Chemistry 285:31418-31426

2009

  • Zhu MH, Kim TW, Ro S, Yan W, Ward SM, Koh SD, Sanders KM. . A Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) conductance in interstitial cells of Cajal linked to slow wave currents and pacemaker activity. Journal of Physiology 587:4905-4918
  • Ma L, Buchold GM, Greenbaum MP, Roy A, Burns KH, Zhu H, Han DY, Harris RA, Coarfa C, Gunaratne PH , Yan W, Matzuk MM. . GASZ is Essential for Male Meiosis and Suppression of Retrotransposon Synthesis in the Male Germline. PLoS Genetics 5(9): e1000635. Published online 2009 September 4. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000635
  • Yan W. . Male Infertility caused by spermiogenic defects: Lessons from gene knockouts. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 306:24-32. doi:10.1016/j.mce.2009.03.003
  • Yan W, McCarrey JR. . Noise amidst the silence: sex chromosome inactivation in the male. (Review) Epigenetics 4(7):452-456
  • Papaioannou MD, Pitetti JL, Ro S, Park C, Aubry F, Schaad O, Vejnar CE, Descombes P, Zdobnov EM, McManus MT, Guillou F, Harfe BD, Yan W, Jégou B, Nef S. . Sertoli cell Dicer is essential for spermatogenesis in mice. Developmental Biology 326:250-259
  • Song R, Michaels JD, Ro S, McCarrey JR, Yan W. . X-linked microRNAs escape meiotic sex chromosome inactivation. Nature Genetics 41:488-493

2008

  • Yan W*, Morozumi K, Zhang J, Ro S, Park C, Yanagimachi R. . Birth of mice after intracytoplasmic injection of single purified sperm nuclei and detection of messenger RNAs and microRNAs in the sperm nuclei. Biology of Reproduction 78:896-902 (*corresponding author)

2007

  • Ro S, Park C, Young D, Sanders KM, Yan W. . Tissue-dependent paired expression of miRNAs. Nucleic Acids Research: Published online, Doi:10.1093/nar/gkm641
  • Jin J, Jin N, Zheng H, Ro S, Tafolla D, Sanders KM, Yan W. . Catsper3 and Catsper4 are essential for sperm hyperactivated motility and male fertility. Biology of Reproduction 77:37-44
  • Ro S, Song R, Park C, Zheng H, Sanders KM, Yan W. . Cloning and expression profiling of small RNAs expressed in the mouse ovary. RNA 13:2366-2380
  • Ro S, Park C, Young D, Sanders KM, McCarrey JR, Yan W. . Cloning and expression profiling of testis-expressed microRNAs. Developmental Biology 311: 604-614
  • Ro S, Park C, Young D, Sanders KM, McCarrey JR, Yan W. . Cloning and expression profiling of testis-expressed microRNAs. Developmental Biology 311: 592-602
  • Ro S, Park C, Song R, Nguyen D, Jin J, Sanders KM, McCarrey JR, Yan W. . Cloning and expression profiling of testis-expressed piRNA-like RNAs. RNA 13:1693-1702
  • Zheng Z, Zheng H, Yan W. . Fank1 is a testis-specific gene encoding a nuclear protein exclusively expressed during the transition from the meiotic to the haploid phase of spermatogenesis. Gene expression patterns 7:777-783
  • Zheng Z, Zheng H, Yan W. . Fank1 is a testis-specific gene encoding a nuclear protein exclusively expressed during the transition from the meiotic to the haploid phase of spermatogenesis. Gene Expression Patterns 7:777-783
  • Zheng H, Stratton CJ, Morozumi K, Jin J, Yanagimachi R, Yan W. . Lack of Spem1 causes aberrant cytoplasm removal, sperm deformation and male infertility. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104:6852-6857
  • Lin YN, Roy A, Yan W, Burns KH, Matzuk MM. . Loss of zona pellucida binding proteins in the acrosomal matrix disrupts acrosome biogenesis and sperm morphogenesis. Molecular and Cellular Biology doi:10.1128/MCB.01029-07, published online ahead of print on 30 July 2007
  • Lin YN, Roy A, Yan W, Burns KH, Matzuk MM. . Loss of zona pellucida binding proteins in the acrosomal matrix disrupts acrosome biogenesis and sperm morphogenesis. Molecular and Cellular Biology 27:6794-6805
  • Ro S, Park C, Young D, Sanders KM, Yan W. . Tissue-dependent paired expression of miRNAs. Nucleic Acids Research 35:5944-5953

2006

  • Ro S, Park C, Jin J, Sanders KM, Yan W. . A PCR-based method for detection and quantification of small RNAs. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 351:756-763
  • Wang SH, Zheng HL, Esaki Y, Kelly F, Yan W. . Cullin3 is a KLHL10-interacting protein preferentially expressed during late spermiogenesis. Biology of Reproduction 74:102-108
  • Yatsenko AN, Roy A, Chen R, Ma L, Murthy LJ, Yan W, Lamb DJ, Matzuk MM. . Non-invasive genetic diagnosis of male infertility using spermatozoal RNA: KLHL10 mutations in oligozoospermic patients impair homodimerization. Human Molecular Genetics 15:3411-3419
  • Greenbaum MP, Yan W*, Wu MH, Lin YN, Agno JE, Sharma M, Braun RE, Rajkovic A, Matzuk MM. . TEX14 is essential for intercellular bridges and fertility in male mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103(13):4982-7. (*co-first authors)

2005

  • Jin JL, O’Doherty AM, Wang SH, Zheng HL, Sanders KM, Yan W. . Catsper3 and Catsper4 encode two cation channel-like proteins exclusively expressed in the testis. Biology of Reproduction 73:1235-1242
  • Yan W, Ma L, Stein P, Pangas SA, Burns KH, Bai, YC, Schultz, RM, Matzuk, MM. . Mice deficient in oocyte-specific oligoadenylate synthetase-like protein OAS1D display reduced fertility. Molecular and Cellular Biology 25:4615-4624

2004

  • Yan W, Ma L, Burns, KH, Matzuk MM. . Haploinsufficiency of KLHL10 causes male infertility. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 101:7793-7798

2003

  • Yan W, Assadi AH, Wynshaw-Boris A, Eichele G, Matzuk MM, Clark GD. . A novel role for platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase 1b in mouse spermatogenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100:7189-7194
  • Yan W, Burns KH, Matzuk MM. . Genetic engineering to study testicular tumorigenesis (Review). APMIS 111: 174-183
  • Yan W, Ma L, Burns KH, Matzuk MM. . Identification of a novel spermatid-specific linker histone H1 involved in chromatin remodeling during mammalian spermiogenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100:10546-10551
  • Yan W, Huang JX, Lax AS, Pelliniemi L, Salminen E, Poutanen M, Toppari J. . Overexpression of Bcl-w in the testis disrupts spermatogenesis: revelation of a role of BCL-W in male germ cell cycle control. Molecular Endocrinology 17:1868-1879
  • Suzumori N, Burns KH, Yan W, Matzuk MM. . RFLP-4 interacts with proteins of the ubiquitin-proteosome degradation pathway in oocytes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100:550-555
  • Wu MH, Rajkovic A, Burns KH, Yan W, Lin YN, Matzuk MM. . Sequence and expression of testis-expressed gene 14 (Tex 14): a gene encoding a protein kinase expressed exclusively during spermatogenesis. Gene Expression Patterns 3:231-236
  • Toppari J, Suominen JS, Yan W. . The role of retinoblastoma protein family in the control of germ cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival (Review). APMIS 111:245-251

2002

  • Yan W, Hirvonen SJ, Palvimo J, Toppari J, Janne OA. . Expression of the Nuclear RING Finger Protein SNURF/RNF4 during Rat Testis Development Suggests a Role in Spermatid Maturation. Mechanisms of Development 118: 247-253
  • Yan W, Rajkovic A, Viveiros MM, Burns KH, Eppig JJ, Matzuk MM. . Identification of Gasz, an evolutionarily conserved gene expressed exclusively in germ cells and encoding a protein with four ankyrin repeats, a sterile-alpha motif, and a basic leucine zipper. Molecular Endocrinology 16: 1168-1184
  • Yan W, Burns KH, Ma L, Matzuk MM. . Identification of Zfp393, a germ cell-specific gene encoding a novel zinc finger protein. Mechanisms of Development 118: 233-239
  • Rajkovic A, Yan C, Yan W, Klysik M, Matzuk M. . Obox, a family of homeobox genes preferentially expressed in germ cells. Genomics 79: 711-717

2001

  • Li X, Nokkala E, Yan W, Streng T, Saarinen N, Wärri A, Huhtaniemi I, Santti R, Mäkelä S, Poutanen M. . Altered structure and function of reproductive organs in transgenic male mice overexpressing human aromatase and maintaining elevated serum estradiol and low testosterone concentrations. Endocrinology 142:2435–2442
  • Yan W, Kero J, Suominen J, Toppari J. . Differential expression and regulation of retinoblastoma protein (pRb) family members during testicular development and spermatogenesis: a model for the control of germ cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in vivo. Oncogene 20: 1343–1356
  • Suominen J, Yan W, Toppari J, Kaipia A. . Expression and regulation of Bcl-2-related ovarian killer (Bok) mRNA in the developing and adult rat testis. European Journal of Endocrinology 145:771-778
  • Blaeser F, Toppari J, Heikinheimo M, Yan W, Wallace M, Ho N, Chatila T. . Normal Spermatogenesis in CaMKIV/Gr-Deficient Mice. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism 281: E931-E937

2000

1999

  • Moilanen AM, Karvonen U, Poukka H, Yan W, Toppari J, Jänne OA, Palvimo J. . A testis-specific androgen receptor coregulator that belongs to a novel family of nuclear proteins. Journal of Biological Chemistry 274:3700-3704
  • Nata M, Kimura T, Hashiyada M, He P, Yan W, Li X, Funayama M, Sagisaka K. . Allele frequencies of eight STRs in Japanese and Chinese. International Journal of Legal Medicine 112:396-399
  • Schultz R, Yan W, Toppari J, Völkl A, Gustafsson J, Huikko MP. . Expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? mRNA and protein in human and rat testis. Endocrinology 140:2968-2975
  • Hakovirta H*, Yan W*, Kaleva M, Zhang F, Vänttinen K, Morris PL, Söder O, Parvinen M, Toppari J. . Function of stem cell factor as a survival factor of spermatogonia and localization of messenger ribonucleic acid in the rat seminiferous epithelium. Endocrinology 140:1492-1498 (*co-first authors)
  • Yan W, Linderborg J, Suominen J, Toppari J. . Stage-specific regulation of stem cell factor (SCF) gene expression in the rat seminiferous epithelium. Endocrinology 140:1499-1504
  • Tena-Sempere M, Kero J, Rannikko A, Yan W, Huhtaniemi I. . The pattern of inhibin/activin ? and ?B subunit mRNA expression in rat testis after selective Leydig cell destruction by ethylene dimethane sulfonate. Endocrinology 140: 5761-5770

1997

  • He P, Nata M, Kanetake J, Ji G, Yan W, Li X, Sagisaka K. . Polymorphism of short tandem repeat (STR) loci PLA2, D3S2459, D8S315 (kw38), CYP19, D3S1359, FGA, and D8S1132 in the Japanese and Chinese populations. Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 183:251-262
  • Yan W, West A, Toppari J, Lähdetie J. . Stage-specific expression and phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (pRb) in the rat seminiferous epithelium. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 132:137-148

1995

  • Sun YX, Zhao GC, Yan W. . Age estimation on the female sternum by quantification theory and stepwise regression analysis. Forensic Science International 74:57-62

1993

  • Jiang XH, Yan W. . Parentage determination of placental tissues through DNA fingerprints. Annals of Academy of Medicine 22:8-10