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Wenjie Yu successfully passed his Ph.D.

Wenjie Yu and Dr Amendt

Wenjie Yu successfully passed his Ph.D. examination on Friday, October 6, 2017 in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. His thesis title was "A Pitx2-Irx1 regulatory network controls dental epithelial stem cell differentiation during tooth development". Members of his thesis committee were chair, Brad Amendt, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; John Engelhardt, Hank Qi, Martine Dunnwald and Fang Lin, also from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; and Fenghuang Zhan from Hematology/Oncology.

​Wenjie Yu is from Hunan, a province at the south side of Yangtze River in South Central China. He grew up in rural China, and in 2003, enrolled in China Agricultural University in Beijing to study Biology. It was there that Wenjie received systematic bioscience education and in 2007, he received his Bachelor Degree in Science. After graduation, he worked as an internet web designer in finance and Beijing Olympic News in Yahoo China.

In 2009, Wenjie worked as a research intern and eventually became a graduate student in the laboratories of Dr. Mingyao Liu & Dr. Dali Li in East China Normal University in Shanghai. During his graduate research, he studied the function of G protein-coupled receptors in colorectal cancer tumorigenesis. He received training in cell culture, animal handling, tissue sectioning and immunostaining and contributed his work to two publications at that time.

In 2012, Wenjie was accepted to the Anatomy and Cell Biology Graduate Program (name changed to Cell and Developmental Biology Graduate Program) at the University of Iowa. Since then, he has studied craniofacial development under the mentorship of Dr. Brad A. Amendt. In the past five years, he has published 7 papers including 2 first author papers and has 2 first author manuscripts are in submission. He has participated in 3 conferences and received a first-place award for poster competition in the Craniofacial Biology Group of the International Association for Dental Research Conference. In the spring of 2017, Wenjie received the Award of Superior Achievement in Student Teaching in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology.

When not in the lab, Wenjie plays basketball with his friends at the UI Fieldhouse, fishes in the Iowa River and Lake MacBride and hangs out with his 3-year old Border Collie at the dog park. He loves to cook and is very good at cooking Chinese food.


Thursday, November 2, 2017