We are hiring! We are seeking motivated Ph.D. students (fully funded) starting in Spring/Fall 2024, and postdoctoral fellows to conduct research at the nexus of microfluidics, stem cell biology and bioinformatics. Please send your inquiry to Dr. Yi Zheng with a detailed CV (yzheng88@syr.edu).

Biomedical researches using established cell lines and animal model systems have achieved tremendous success in improving our understanding of fundamental biological mechanisms and facilitating the discovery of new medicines. Nevertheless, there is growing realization that information obtained from simple dish-cultured cell lines and other animals can not be directly extrapolated to human systems. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), under proper culture conditions, can self-organize into structures that resemble the in vivo anatomy and physiology of certain human tissues, which can potentially revolutionize current biomedical researches by providing a more human-relevant setting. In the Zheng Lab, we build highly controllable and reproducible human biosystems using stem cells and a wide array of engineering approaches, including micro/nanoengineering, single-cell technologies, bioinformatics and synthetic biology, and apply these biosystems for new discoveries in human development, disease etiology and regenerative medicine (Media highlights: Nature News 2019Nature News Feature 2021MIT Technology Review 2019, NPR, BBC).

Three-dimensional reconstruction of μPASEs at t = 36 h, stained for ISL1 (green), TBXT (red) and SOX17 (magenta)
Development of posteriorized embryonic sacs from hESCs

Selected Publication:

1. Zheng Y, Yan RZ, Sun S, Kobayashi M, Xiang L, Yang R, Goedel A, Kang Y, Xue X, Esfahani SN, Liu Y, Resto Irizarry AM, Wu W, Li Y, Ji W, Niu Y, Chien KR, Li T, Shioda T, Fu J. Single-cell analysis of embryoids reveals lineage diversification roadmaps of early human development. Cell Stem Cell. 2022;29(9):1402-1419.e8. (featured by Cell Stem Cell)

2. Yang R, Goedel A, Kang Y, Si C, Chu C, Zheng Y, Chen Z, Gruber PJ, Xiao Y, Zhou C, Witman N, Eroglu E, Leung C-Y, Chen Y, Fu J, Ji W, Lanner F, Niu Y, Chien KR. Amnion signals are essential for mesoderm formation in primates. Nature Communications. 2021;12(1):5126.

3. Zheng Y, Shao Y, Fu J. A microfluidics-based stem cell model of early post-implantation human development. Nature Protocols. 2021;16(1):309-326.

4. Zheng Y, Xue X, Shao Y, Wang S, Esfahani SN, Li Z, Muncie JM, Lakins JN, Weaver VM, Gumucio DL, Fu J. Controlled modelling of human epiblast and amnion development using stem cells. Nature. 2019;573(7774):421-425.

5. Zheng Y, Xue X, Resto-Irizarry AM, Li Z, Shao Y, Zheng Y, Zhao G, Fu J. Dorsal-ventral patterned neural cyst from human pluripotent stem cells in a neurogenic niche. Science Advances. 2019;5(12):eaax5933.


09/12/2023: Dr. Zheng spoke at iCANX youth talk.

09/01/2023: Welcome Mehrnoosh Nemati, Jing Pang, and Blake Anthony Medrano Cabildo to join our lab!

07/01/2023: Dr. Yi Zheng presented at Advanced Cell and Tissue Biomanufacturing , Gordon Research Conference

06/17/2023: Dr. Yi Zheng attended ISSCR 2023 in Boston.

02/08/2023: Dr. Yi Zheng’s book chapter “Stem Cell-Derived Microfluidic Amniotic Sac Embryoid (μPASE)” is published in Methods in Molecular Biology

10/26/2022: Our collaborative work with Dr. Amander T. Clark (UCLA) and Dr. Jianping Fu (U Michigan) is published in Cell Reports Medicine.
In vitro germ cell induction from fertile and infertile monozygotic twin research participants

09/05/2022: Dr. Yi Zheng joined the editorial board of Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology.

09/01/2022: Dr. Yi Zheng’s work “Single-cell analysis of embryoids reveals lineage diversification roadmaps of early human development” is published in Cell Stem Cell, and selected as a “Featured article”

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