Yarui Diao


Assistant Professor of Cell Biology

I lead a functional genomics lab and my lab’s research is mainly focused on two areas: 1) developing new functional genomics tools to study genome structure and function; 2) using skeletal muscle regeneration and muscle stem cell as our model system to study gene regulation of tissue regeneration in health and diseases conditions, such as injury, muscular dystrophy, aging, and rhabdomyosarcoma. My research has been supported by Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), V Foundation for Cancer Research, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Kahn program and Translating Duke Health, Glenn Foundation and American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), Elsa. U Pardee foundation, Cancer Moonshot℠ Research Initiatives and NIH.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Cell Biology
  • Assistant Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
  • Affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. University of Hong Kong (China), 2011

Research Interests

1. Gene regulation of muscle regeneration.
2. Genomics technology development.
3. Genetic and epigenetic control of rhabdomyosarcoma.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Genomic Innovator Awards. NIH/NHGRI. 2020
  • Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Junior Faculty Award. American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). 2019
  • V Scholar Award. The V Foundation For Cancer Research. 2019
  • Whitehead Scholar. Duke University School of Medicine. 2018
  • Human Frontier Science Program Long-Term Fellowship. HFSP. 2014

Courses Taught

  • CELLBIO 493: Research Independent Study
  • CMB 710A: Cell & Molecular Biology Module I
  • CMB 710C: Cell & Molecular Biology Module III
  • UPGEN 701: Advanced Topics in Genetics and Genomics

Representative Publications

  • Fan, H; Lu, J; Guo, Y; Li, D; Zhang, Z-M; Tsai, Y-H; Pi, W-C; Ahn, JH; Gong, W; Xiang, Y; Allison, DF; Geng, H; He, S; Diao, Y; Chen, W-Y; Strahl, BD; Cai, L; Song, J; Wang, GG, BAHCC1 binds H3K27me3 via a conserved BAH module to mediate gene silencing and oncogenesis., Nat Genet, vol 52 no. 12 (2020), pp. 1384-1396 [10.1038/s41588-020-00729-3] [abs].
  • Yahara, Y; Barrientos, T; Tang, YJ; Puviindran, V; Nadesan, P; Zhang, H; Gibson, JR; Gregory, SG; Diao, Y; Xiang, Y; Qadri, YJ; Souma, T; Shinohara, ML; Alman, BA, Erythromyeloid progenitors give rise to a population of osteoclasts that contribute to bone homeostasis and repair., Nat Cell Biol, vol 22 no. 1 (2020), pp. 49-59 [10.1038/s41556-019-0437-8] [abs].
  • Dall'Agnese, A; Caputo, L; Nicoletti, C; di Iulio, J; Schmitt, A; Gatto, S; Diao, Y; Ye, Z; Forcato, M; Perera, R; Bicciato, S; Telenti, A; Ren, B; Puri, PL, Transcription Factor-Directed Re-wiring of Chromatin Architecture for Somatic Cell Nuclear Reprogramming toward trans-Differentiation., Mol Cell, vol 76 no. 3 (2019), pp. 453-472.e8 [10.1016/j.molcel.2019.07.036] [abs].
  • Wu, S; Turner, KM; Nguyen, N; Raviram, R; Erb, M; Santini, J; Luebeck, J; Rajkumar, U; Diao, Y; Li, B; Zhang, W; Jameson, N; Corces, MR; Granja, JM; Chen, X; Coruh, C; Abnousi, A; Houston, J; Ye, Z; Hu, R; Yu, M; Kim, H; Law, JA; Verhaak, RGW; Hu, M; Furnari, FB; Chang, HY; Ren, B; Bafna, V; Mischel, PS, Circular ecDNA promotes accessible chromatin and high oncogene expression., Nature, vol 575 no. 7784 (2019), pp. 699-703 [10.1038/s41586-019-1763-5] [abs].
  • Jung, I; Schmitt, A; Diao, Y; Lee, AJ; Liu, T; Yang, D; Tan, C; Eom, J; Chan, M; Chee, S; Chiang, Z; Kim, C; Masliah, E; Barr, CL; Li, B; Kuan, S; Kim, D; Ren, B, A compendium of promoter-centered long-range chromatin interactions in the human genome., Nat Genet, vol 51 no. 10 (2019), pp. 1442-1449 [10.1038/s41588-019-0494-8] [abs].