Current Team Members

Yongjie Yang

Professor of Neuroscience

BA, Marine Biology, Ocean University of China
MS, Genetics, Ocean University of China
PhD, Neuroscience, Iowa State University
Postdoctoral Training, John Hopkins University

Rashed Alananzeh

Research Technician

BA, Biology, Boston University, Boston, MA

Rashed graduated from Boston University in January of 2021 with honors of Magna Cum Laude. He received his bachelor of arts degree in Biology (Specialization in Cellular, Molecular, and Genetics). He is currently applying to medical school and hopes to start his journey in 2022. He enjoys immersing himself in the community and connecting with new individuals. Rashed is a hands-on mechanic and likes to fix and work on cars in his free time. He also enjoys reading and writing poetry.

Xuan Chen

Post-Doctoral Scholar

Rachel Jarvis

Sr. Research Technician

BS, Biochemistry, University of Dallas, Irving ,TX
MA, Virology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

I received my B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Dallas in 2012, and a Master’s degree in Virology from Harvard University in 2017, where I studied entry mechanisms of neurotropic viruses. I joined the Yang lab in 2017 and have been studying the role of exosomal neuron-glia communication in mouse models of diseases such as addiction, Fragile X, and ALS, in addition to serving as the lab manager. Outside the lab, I enjoy soccer (playing and watching), playing tabletop games with friends, and reading.

Shijie Jin

Research Associate

MBBS, Medicine, Liaoning Medical University, Jinzhou, China
PhD, Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan

Most of my studies have focused on the role of glial cells in neuro-immunological diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Recently I worked on “Cell type specific exosomes signaling in disease spreading of ALS” project. In the current study, we developed a cell-type specific exosome reporter mouse line (hCD63-GFP conditional knock-in, CD63-CKI) in which a GFP-fused CD63 can be induced in a particular cell type when bred with the cell-type specific Cre driver mice or stereotaxic injection of viral vectors expressing Cre recombinase. By employing this mouse tool, we found that exosomes are widely present in the CNS, and that astrocyte-secreted exosomes are significantly changed in SOD1 (G93A) mouse model of ALS. Our ultimate goal is to clarify the role of cell type specific exosomes and create novel beneficial therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative disease.

Yuqin Men

Postdoctoral Scholar

BS, Bioengineering, Heze University, Heze, China
PhD, Developmental Biology, Shandong University, Shandong, China

I received my B.S in Bioengineering from Heze University in China. Afterwards I received a PhD in Developmental Biology from Shandong University in China. Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which is caused by the loss-of-function of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP).  However, whether the loss of astroglial FMRP alters astrocyte function and contributes to the pathogenesis of FXS remains largely unknown. In my project, I focus on studying a potential role of miR-mediated pathological mechanisms in mouse models of FXS, providing potential new targets to modulate FXS symptoms.

Francesca Mowry

Postdoctoral Scholar