PEOPLE 2018-01-15T21:52:37+00:00

Lu “Lucy” Bai

Principal Investigator  [My Google Scholar Page]

Dr. Bai is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Department of Physics at Penn State University. She received her PhD in biophysics from Cornell University (supervisor: Dr. Michelle Wang). For her thesis work, she combined single molecule experimental approaches with theoretical modeling to understand the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of a variety of biomolecules. She then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Rockefeller University (supervisors: Dr. Fred Cross and Dr. Eric Siggia), using cell-cycle genes as a model to understand how promoter architecture and nucleosome positioning regulate gene expression in single cells. Dr. Bai moved to the Penn State University to start her own lab in 2012. Besides her dual appointment at BMB and Physics, her group is also part of the Penn State Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation, which provides a highly interactive environment for the study of chromatin and gene regulation.

Hengye Chen

Graduate Student

Hengye Chen is a PhD student from Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology program at Pennsylvania State University. He received his Bachelor degree in biotechnology from Beijing Normal University (Supervisor: Dr. Dong Yang). He then received his Master degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Georgetown University (Supervisor: Dr. Chunling Yi) and worked as a research assistant in Dr. Yi’s Lab after graduation, where he used mouse models to study cell signaling in pancreatic and lung tumors. He enrolled in Penn State University and joined the Bai Lab in 2016, and currently he is working on identifying nucleosome depletion factors and probing the underlying mechanisms in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae cells.

Manyu Du

Graduate Student

Manyu Du is a graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State University. She studied at Wuhan University in China as an undergraduate majoring in Biology from 2009 to 2013. She joined Dr. Bai’s lab at Penn State since December 2013. She has been using budding yeast as a model to investigate how long-distance chromosome interactions regulate gene expression.

Hungyo Kharerin

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Kharerin earned his PhD from the department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. His PhD thesis is about studying the various physical determinants of transcriptional gene regulation. In Bai lab, as a postdoc researcher, he will study nucleosome positioning and chromatin dynamics using computational approach.

James Lee

Graduate Student

James Lee is a PhD student in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology. He has a BS and MS in Biology, and Biotechnology. Before graduate school, he worked as a lab manager and research technician at the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research interests are yeast epigenetics, and transcriptional hotspots.

Cheng Xu

Graduate Student

Cheng Xu is a graduate student from Molecular, Cellular and Integrated Biological Sciences (MCIBS) program at Penn State University. He received his B.S degree from Fudan University in China with a major in Biological Sciences. In his undergraduate thesis lab, he worked on meiosis and heterochromatin in yeast and Arabidopsis (mentor: Dr. Hong Ma). Now he is developing a high-throughput screen method in mammalian cells to study the nucleosome-depleting function of pioneer factors.

Chao Yan

Graduate Student

Chao Yan is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State University. Combining yeast genetics, single cell microscopy, and high throughput sequencing techniques, he is interested in understanding the transcription regulation by the arrangement of gene order, and by the establishment of upstream nucleosome depleted regions.

Seth Kodner


Seth is an undergraduate research assistant majoring in Chemical Engineering with a Biomolecular and Bioprocess Engineering option. In Bai Lab, he is using genetic engineering techniques as well as fluorescent microscopy to study protein binding affinity for use in Chemically Induced Chromatin Interaction.

Jessica O’Callaghan


Jessica O’Callaghan is an undergraduate researcher majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in Spanish at Penn State University. Since joining the Bai Lab in 2016, she has combined genetic techniques with single-cell microscopy to study the role of pioneer factors, specifically Reb1 and Cbf1, on the activation of the yeast HO promoter.

Past Members of the Bai Lab:

Youngdae Yoon (postdoc)
Current position: Assistant Professor, Dept of Environ Health Science, Konkuk Univ.

Daoyong Zhang (postdoc)
Current position: Professor, Institute of Cancer Research, Xuzhou Medical University

Qian Zhang (technician)

Domenick Braccia (undergraduate, Physics, REU program)

Benson Chong (undergraduate, BMB)

Evelyn Kim (undergraduate, BMB)

Haylie Kim (undergraduate, BMB, SURF award)

Ben Paskoff (undergraduate, BMB, Schreyer honors college)

Christopher Pocetti (undergraduate, Physics, REU program)

Ryan Rogers (undergraduate, BioT)

Jessica Saganowich  (undergraduate, BMB, WISER program)

Collin Leese-Thompson (undergraduate, BMB)

Shuyang Wu (undergraduate, BMB, ECoS Undergraduate Research Support)

Nur Izzati Huda Zulkarnain (undergraduate, Physics, REU program)