Dr. Yifan Wang received his D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) degree from Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, China, and then obtained a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Parasitology at Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China. In November 2015, Dr. Wang started his postdoctoral training with Dr. Jeroen Saeij at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). In September 2021, Dr. Wang became an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology at UC Davis. Dr. Wang began his independent career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School in January 2023.
Areas of Interest
Toxoplasma gondii is a highly successful intracellular protozoan parasite that can infect almost all warm-blooded animals and invade all the nucleated cells. Infection with this parasite can cause severe disease in immunocompromised individuals (e.g., HIV/AIDs patients) and fetuses. Given the difference in the genetic background across various hosts, susceptibility to toxoplasmosis and immune response to the parasite varies widely between humans and other animals. In addition, Toxoplasma is genetically tractable and easy to obtain and cultivate in vitro and in vivo. These make the parasite ideal for studying host-pathogen interactions and innate immunity in different cell types and host species.
The Wang lab’s long-term research goals are understanding the innate immune machinery determining Toxoplasma resistance between different hosts and demonstrating the molecular basis of Toxoplasma effector-mediated host immune modulation. Activating such anti-Toxoplasma machinery or inhibiting the immunomodulatory parasite effectors could sensitize the parasite to immune surveillance and lead to a better treatment against Toxoplasma infection in immunocompromised patients. To achieve the goals, Wang lab applies a multifaceted approach, including functional genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and other biochemical analysis.
Published Articles or Reviews
Complete list of published work