Qi Chen  (Group Leader)

    I'm majoring in biology and interested in mathematic modeling & bioinformatics. I obtained my Master's degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a PhD degree at UC Riverside focusing on noncanonical small RNAs such as tsRNAs and rsRNAs.  I'm currently working on the dynamic regualtion and  functions of sperm small RNAs in normal and disease conditions  (Google Scholar)

Junchao Shi (Postdoc)

    I obtained my PhD degree at Chinese Academy of Sciences in biochemistry and cell biology, after that I joined Abcam where I worked on varioius protocols for epigenetic studies including ChIP-seq and CUT&RUN. I returned to academia and developed a keen interst on RNA biology at UCR; now I joined Qi Chen Lab at University of Utah to explore the function of RNAs and RNA modifications in epigenetic inheritance (Google Scholar)

Chen Cai (Postdoc)

Xudong Zhang (Postdoc)

    I was trained in molecular biology and stem cell biology at Chinese Academy of Sciences, where I got my Master's degree. I got my PhD at Dr. Qi Chen's lab studying  the functions and regulations of RNA modifications, paticularly those enriched in tsRNAs. My current projects involve studying the functional principles of tsRNAs and stem cells and disease models (Google Scholar)
    After I obtained my M.D. at Chongqing Medical University, I began my research with a project studying mouse embryo implantation at Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where I grew an interest in the molecular & biomechanical mechanisms to control intrauterine embryo localization and embryo orientation. After a twisted and exciting journey of discovery, I ended up studying water channels (aquaporins, AQPs) in reproductive system, discovering AQP3's role in sperm osmoadaptation, which turned out to be my Ph.D thesis.
     I then moved on to study small RNAs in sperm and pioneered the systematic discovery of tRNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) & rRNA-derived small RNAs (rsRNAs) that are enriched in mature sperm, and discovered the function of sperm tsRNAs and rsRNAs in mediating paternal environment-induced intergenerational epigenetic inheritance, which depends on their associated RNA modifications and regulating enzymes. We are now exploring the potential roles of tsRNA/rsRNA in regulating early mammalian embryonic cell fate decision that contribute to offspring health, as well as the expanding world of sncRNAs and RNA modifications in different biological systems including cancer causation, and their diagnostic and prognostic value for precision medicine. 
     Being a scientific wanderer so far, I enjoyed the process of following clues and explore whatever directions the clues lead us to (if get funded). Knowing how small and insignificant we are in the universe, I'm grateful and fulfilled to be with a group of motivated people who turn curiosity into scientific discoveries, with our limited minds and hands.

A Cake of Science & Wishes...

Jiancheng Yu (Graduate student)

Keep Calm and Grow Strong...

    I am a fourth-year Biology student at the University of California, Riverside. I plan on becoming a primary care physician and practicing in the Inland Empire to help bridge the healthcare disparities in the area. My interest in Dr. Chen’s research on the role of Sperm RNA modifications in transgenerational epigenetic inheritance stems under the university Honors Capstone Project

The Departure in Beijing (2015.8)

We are moving from UNR to UC Riverside (2018.12)

Maya's Honors Convocation at UNR

Farewell, UNR - the place we grow

Shichao Liu (Senior scientist)

   I obtained my PhD degree in developmental biology from Northeast Agricultural University in China, followed by Postdoc training at Chinese Academy of Sciences. I joined Qi Chen Lab to explore the molecular & mechanical mechanisms that guide early mouse embryo development and pattern formation, and how these events contribute to sperm RNA mediated epigenetic inheritance (Google Scholar)

Qi Chen lab at UC Riverside (2019)

Kashmaila Ali 
(Undergraduate student)

Junchao & Xudong's PhD graduation (2022)

Qi Chen Lab alumni:
Ying Liu (Graduate student/MS) 2016-2018
Bailong Zhang (Postdoc) 2021-2022
Maya Pahima (Undergraduate student) 2017-2018
Kristopher Alighchi (Undergraduate student) 2017-2018
Joanne Garcia (Undergraduate student) 2017-2018
Austin Yu (Undergraduate student) 2021-2022
Carol Wann (Undergraduate student) 2019-2020
Cameron Krainock (Undergraduate student) 2019-2020
Yunfang Zhang (Visiting Scholar) 2017-2018
Menghong Yan (Visiting Scholar) 2017-2018
Ying Zhang (Visiting Scholar) 2019-2020
Dongmei Tan (Visiting Scholar) 2017-2019
Shi Liang (MD student)
    I am currently a graduate student in the department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah, I have a general interest in studying small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) functionality, especially focusing on the non-cannonical sncRNAs including tsRNAs & rsRNAs. My research project invovles the exploration of AGO-dependent and AGO-idependent function of sncRNAs in different cells and species (Google Scholar)
I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Biochemistry in 2021, and am currently a medical student at the University of Utah class of 2026. My undergraduate research training broght me to Qi Chen lab, exploring the translational application of the 'sperm RNA code'. Besides research, I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors.