Lu “Lucy” Bai

Principal Investigator  [My Google Scholar Page]

Dr. Bai is a 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 (PI: Dr. Michelle Wang), and postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University (PI: Dr. Fred Cross and Dr. Eric Siggia). Dr. Bai moved to the Penn State University as an assistant professor in 2012, was promoted to associate professor in 2018, and to full professor in 2023. 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.

Yi Li

Graduate student

Yi Li is a PhD student from Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology (BMMB) program at Penn State University. He received his Bachelor degree in Biology from Shandong University (Supervisor: Dr. Mingyu Wang) in China and Uppsala University (Supervisor: Dr. Fredrik Pettersson) in Sweden. He joined Bai’s Lab since January 2019 and now he is studying chromosome interaction using a yeast model.

Holly Kleinschmidt

Graduate Student

Holly Kleinschmidt is a PhD student in the Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology (BMMB) program at Penn State. She received her B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Environmental Science from Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO. In her undergraduate thesis lab, she studied the origin of life from an organic chemistry perspective (Supervisor: Dr. Paul Bracher). She joined the Bai lab in January 2020 and is studying how epigenetic factors influence pioneer factor binding in mammalian cells.

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.

Neha Patwardhan

Graduate Student

Neha Patwardhan is a PhD student at Penn State in the MCIBS program. She got her Bachelor’s in Life Sciences in affiliation with the University of Mumbai. She received her MS in molecular and cell biology at the University of Cologne and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing. She is currently working on understanding constitutively open regions in the genome and the factors involved in maintaining this state.

Leman Simpson

Graduate student

Leman Simpson is a PhD student from the Chemistry program at Penn State University. He received his bachelors degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH where he carried out research into structure-guided inhibitor design (supervisor: Dr. Sara ES Martin). He participated in Penn State Chemistry’s NSF REU in 2019 (supervisor: Dr. Xin Zhang). He joined the Bai lab in 2021 and is interested in studying transcriptional hot spots.

Courtney Smith

Graduate student

Courtney Smith is a PhD student from Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology (BMMB) program at Penn State. She received her Bachelor degrees in Biochemistry and English from Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, PA. During her undergraduate career, she studied protein engineering in the lab of Dr. Jesse Kleingardner. She joined the Bai lab in January 2023 and is interested in studying histone turnover and nucleosome depletion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Shane D. Stoeber

Graduate Student

Shane Stoeber is a PhD student in the Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology (BMMB) program at Penn State University. He received his B.S. degree in Biotechnology from Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Fl. He joined the Bai lab in January 2021 and is interested in studying Pioneer factors and their mechanisms in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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.

Sam Becker

Undergraduate student

Sam Becker is studying biochemistry and molecular biology with a minor in entrepreneurship in biotechnology. At Penn State, Sam is involved in the Society for Industrial Biotechnology, working with the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. He joined the lab in Fall 2022 and is working with James studying transcriptional hotspots and distance related gene regulation.

Kristen Taylor

Undergraduate student

Kristen Taylor is studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Molecular Biology option. As well as undergraduate research, she is involved in several student organizations and is part of the Pride of the Lion pep band. She joined the Bai lab in January 2022 and will be working with Holly to identify factors influencing pioneer factor binding.

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

Hungyo Kharerin (postdoc)
Current position: Assistant Professor, IIT Mandi India

Hengye Chen (graduate student)
Current position: Postdoc fellow @ Chinese Academy of Science

Manyu Du (graduate student)
Current position: Postdoc fellow @ Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics

Chao Yan (graduate student)
Current position: Research Scientist @ New York Genome Center

Fan Zou (graduate student)
Current position: Software engineer @ ASML

Qian Zhang (technician)

Domenick Braccia (undergraduate, Physics, REU program)

Alexander Bowman (undergraduate, Physics)

Benson Chong (undergraduate, BMB)

Ziyan Hong (undergraduate, summer exchange program, Chang Gung University)

Jenna Johnson (undergraduate, BMB)

Evelyn Kim (undergraduate, BMB)

Haylie Kim (undergraduate, BMB, SURF award)

Seth Kodner (undergraduate, ChemE)

Alexander Kuznetsov (undergraduate, Physics, REU program)

Collin Leese-Thompson (undergraduate, BMB)

Jaron Wharton-Mohammed (undergraduate, BMB, MURE)

Larissa Cortes Morales (undergraduate, SROP)

Jessica O’Callaghan (undergraduate, ChemE, Schreyer honors college)

Ben Paskoff (undergraduate, BMB, Schreyer honors college)

Cassidy Pitts (undergraduate, BioE, Schreyer honors college)

Christopher Pocetti (undergraduate, Physics, REU program)

Ryan Rogers (undergraduate, BioT)

Jessica Saganowich  (undergraduate, BMB, WISER program)

George Tankosich (undergraduate, BMB)

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

Yujie Yan (undergraduate, Physics, Schreyer honors college)

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