Welcome to the Bai Lab

The Bai Lab uses a variety of strategies to understand the mechanism of gene regulation by chromatin structure at different levels. Currently, we are working on two main projects: (1) to identify and characterize “pioneer factors” that can lead to nucleosome depletion and (2) to mechanistically dissect long-distance chromosomal interactions that regulate gene expression. We measure gene expression in single live cells to probe how these chromatin features affect gene expression in terms of the average level, cell-to-cell variability (noise), and dynamics. We are using budding yeast as our primary model system, but we are venturing into the mammalian cells as well. Method-wise, we are using a combination of imaging, genetics, genomics, and computational methods. We are also developing new genetics and genomics tools for the projects above.


Lab News

05/23: Holly and Cheng’s review, “Using Synthetic DNA Library to Investigate Chromatin and Gene Regulation”, is accepted by Chomosoma.

04/23: Lucy presented a seminar at the Biology Department, the University of Iowa.

04/23: Hengye et al.’s method paper “Investigating pioneer factor activity and its coordination with chromatin remodelers using Integrated Synthetic Oligo (ISO) assay” is accepted by Star Protocol.

03/23: Our newest collaborative work with Michael Poirier and Song Tan’s group, “Basic helix-loop-helix pioneer factors interact with the histone octamer to invade nucleosomes and generate nucleosome depleted regions.”, is published in Molecular Cell.

01/23: Bai Lab welcome new graduate student from the BMMB program, Courtney Smith.

10/22: Congratulations to Hengye and Fan for successfully defending their theses!

10/22: Cheng, Holly, and Lucy attended ASBMB Transcriptional Regulation Chromatin and RNA Polymerase II Conference and presented our recent work.

07/22: Hengye’s work, “Partitioned Usage of Chromatin Remodelers by Nucleosome-Displacing Factors”, is accepted by Cell Reports.


Bai lab is grateful for fundings from NIH, NSF, PSU, and previous fellowship supports.