Yu Laboratory | Members

Principal Investigator: Timothy Yu, MD, PhD

Dr. Yu completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard College, his MD and PhD degrees from the University of California at San Francisco, neurology residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and neurogenetics fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. He joined the Boston Children's Genetics and Genomics faculty as an instructor in 2010 and independent investigator in 2013. He is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Yu also co-founded Claritas Genomics, a subsidiary of Boston Children's, devoted to the practice of pediatric genomic medicine. His primary research focus is applying genetics and genomics to understanding the neurobiological bases of autism.  

Lab Manager: Chunguang Hu, MD, PhD

Chunguang joined the Yu lab in December, 2016. She earned her MD from Norman Bethune University of Medical Sciences in 1998 and completed her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Jilin University, China in 2004. Chunguang completed her post-doc at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in 2008 and worked as a Postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University from 2008-2011.

Research Data Coordinator: Aubrie Soucy

Aubrie earned her B.A. from Wheaton College in May 2016, with a major in Bioinformatics.  During her time at Wheaton her studies were focused on statistical analysis of biological data through computer programming. She joined the Yu Lab in December 2016. Here she is applying her knowledge of bioinformatics towards identifying genetic causes of neurodevelopmental diseases. Aubrie also serves as the project coordinator for our antisense therapy projects.

Genetic Counselor: Victoria Suslovitch, MS, CGC

Tori graduated with a degree in Genetic Counseling from the Boston University School of Medicine in 2019 and joined the Yu lab soon after. She is passionate about teaching, advocacy, public health, and bioethics. Tori is eager to utilize her training in genetic counseling to support the logistical, social, and emotional needs of patients and families.

Research Assistant: Diana Chin

Diana graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in Molecular Biology in June 2018 and joined the Yu lab that same month. She is interested in translational research and is excited to investigate mutation-specific therapeutics for patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

Research Assistant: Renata DiDonato

Renata graduated from Haverford College with a B.S. in Chemistry in May 2019. She was a student in the Yu lab for two summers prior to graduation and rejoins the lab, eager to continue exploring personalized therapy for patients with rare neurodegenerative diseases.

Research Fellows

Cynthia Gubbels, MD, PhD

Cynthia Gubbels has an MD (2005) and PhD (2011) from Maastricht University (Netherlands), and did residencies in pediatrics and genetics. She came to Boston to continue her research on classic galactosemia in the Gerard Berry Laboratory. She joined the Yu lab in 2015 and focuses on the impact of genomics in clinical medicine as well as the role of disorders of metabolism in the development of autism. She is the co-president of Boston Children’s Hospital's Postdoc Association for 2016/2017, and was selected for Harvard Catalyst’s Program for Clinical and Translational Scientists (2016- 2018).

Tojo is a physician-scientist with expertise in pediatric neurology and genetics, interested in brain development. He earned his MD (2002) and PhD (2011) degrees from Tohoku University School of Medicine in Japan. He completed residencies in pediatrics and pediatric neurology at Tohoku University Hospital and the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry in Japan. He started his postdoctoral research at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2014. As a single postdoc, he worked with Dr. Mochida to look for the genetic cause of microcephaly. To apply his expertise in clinical pediatric neurology, Tojo joined the Yu lab in December 2017. His research centers around genetics and molecular biology to better understand and treat neurodevelopmental disorders.

Jinkuk Kim, PhD

Jinkuk received his PhD in Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics from MIT, where he studied regulatory small RNA genomics with David Bartel using both experimental and computational techniques. He also studied glioblastoma genomics for five years at Samsung Medical Center in South Korea as part of his military service. Jinkuk is co-mentored by Peter Park at the Harvard Medical School Department of Biomedical Informatics.

Yu-Han Huang, PhD

Yu-Han completed her PhD in Pharmacology at Taipei Medical University, Taiwan. She joined the Yu lab in April 2018. She is interested in drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases.

Boxun Zhao, PhD

Boxun joined the lab in August 2018 as a postdoctoral fellow after a one-year postdoctoral training in National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing, China. He obtained his PhD in Genetics in 2017 from Peking Union Medical College at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. During his doctoral research, he studied somatic transposable element (TE) insertions in the human brain and neurological disorders. His strong background in human TEs and talents in experimental and computational work give him a solid foundation to pursue his long-term goal of resolving the importance and functional impact of TE insertions in human diseases and translating scientific discoveries into therapeutics to cure diseases that are caused by structural variants. Boxun is co-mentored by Dr. E. Alice Lee at the Division of Genetics and Genomics.

Students

Cameron Comrie

Cameron is a first year at Harvard Medical School. She joined the Yu Lab in 2017 and studies DCC and other genes in this pathway that are related to congenital mirror movement disorder. 

Previous Laboratory Members

Susanne Goetze
Young Mi Kim
Niklas Smedemark-Margulies

Jai Vaze 

Previous Students

Sophie Stroeks: Maastricht University
Tamara Hundscheid: Maastricht University
Maximilian Haller: Maastricht University
Jeroen Bisschop: Maastricht University
Umut “Cenk” Sagiroglu: Maastricht University
Jenny Lai: Harvard Medical School
Nikoleta Argyrou: Maastricht University
Nona Merckx: Maastricht University
Elizabeth Cordoves: Harvard College
Naima Hiddink Verberne: Maastricht University
Daan Van Beek: Maastricht University
Neslihan Gunes: Maastricht University
Emily Plump:  Buckingham Browne & Nichols School
Evelyn Gates: University of Maryland Baltimore County