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
  • Assistant Professor in Pathology
  • 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
  • V Scholar Award. The V Foundation For Cancer Research. 2019
  • Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Junior Faculty Award. American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). 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 710D: Cell & Molecular Biology Module IV
  • UPGEN 701: Advanced Topics in Genetics and Genomics

Representative Publications

  • Xu, J; Song, F; Lyu, H; Kobayashi, M; Zhang, B; Zhao, Z; Hou, Y; Wang, X; Luan, Y; Jia, B; Stasiak, L; Wong, JH-Y; Wang, Q; Jin, Q; Jin, Q; Fu, Y; Yang, H; Hardison, RC; Dovat, S; Platanias, LC; Diao, Y; Yang, Y; Yamada, T; Viny, AD; Levine, RL; Claxton, D; Broach, JR; Zheng, H; Yue, F, Subtype-specific 3D genome alteration in acute myeloid leukaemia., Nature, vol 611 no. 7935 (2022), pp. 387-398 [10.1038/s41586-022-05365-x] [abs].
  • Meng, Z; Li, F-L; Fang, C; Yeoman, B; Qiu, Y; Wang, Y; Cai, X; Lin, KC; Yang, D; Luo, M; Fu, V; Ma, X; Diao, Y; Giancotti, FG; Ren, B; Engler, AJ; Guan, K-L, The Hippo pathway mediates Semaphorin signaling., Science Advances, vol 8 no. 21 (2022) [10.1126/sciadv.abl9806] [abs].
  • Wang, J; Broer, T; Chavez, T; Zhou, CJ; Tran, S; Xiang, Y; Khodabukus, A; Diao, Y; Bursac, N, Myoblast deactivation within engineered human skeletal muscle creates a transcriptionally heterogeneous population of quiescent satellite-like cells., Biomaterials, vol 284 (2022) [10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121508] [abs].
  • Wei, X; Xiang, Y; Peters, DT; Marius, C; Sun, T; Shan, R; Ou, J; Lin, X; Yue, F; Li, W; Southerland, KW; Diao, Y, HiCAR is a robust and sensitive method to analyze open-chromatin-associated genome organization., Mol Cell, vol 82 no. 6 (2022), pp. 1225-1238.e6 [10.1016/j.molcel.2022.01.023] [abs].
  • Tang, YJ; Puviindran, V; Xiang, Y; Yahara, Y; Zhang, H; Nadesan, P; Diao, Y; Kirsch, DG; Alman, BA, Tumor-propagating side population cells are a dynamic subpopulation in undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma., Jci Insight, vol 6 no. 22 (2021) [10.1172/jci.insight.148768] [abs].