We are interested in molecular mechanisms governing the acquisition and reprogramming of a cell fate. We recently showed that small RNA molecules, microRNAs, could promote the generation of neurons by demonstrating that expressing neuron-specific microRNAs in non-neuronal cell types could directly convert their cell fates into functional neurons. Human dermal fibroblasts from neonatal or adult origin can be directly converted into neurons when miR-9/9* and miR-124 are expressed ectopically with a set of neural transcription factors. We focus on the mechanistic details underlying the neurogenic activities of microRNAs as well as further development into tissue culture models of neurological diseases using the neurons derived directly from the patients’ skin samples.
Education and Training:
2011 - Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University, CA, Chromatin biology and cell fate reprogramming
2005 - Ph.D. Columbia University, NY, Cellular, Molecular and Biophysical Studies
1998 - M.Sc. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Experimental Medicine (Neurology)
1995 - B.Sc. McGill University, Montreal, PQ, Canada, Physiology (with focus on Neurophysiology)
August 2011 - present - Assistant Professor, Department Developmental Biology, Washington University School of Medicine
Honors and Awards:
2007-2010 - Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship
2001-2003 - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate award
1995 - Honors in Neurophysiology, McGill University
Yoo AS, Sun AX, Li L, Shcheglovitov A, Portmann T, Li Y, Lee-Messer C, Dolmetsch RE, Tsien RW, Crabtree GR. (2011). MicroRNA-mediated conversion of human fibroblasts to neurons. Nature. Jul 13. doi: 10.1038/nature10323.
Choi, M.S., Yoo, A.S., and Greenwald, I. (2010). sel-11 and cdc-42, Two negative modulators of LIN-12/Notch activity in C. elegans. Plos One 5, e11885.
Yoo, A.S., Staahl, B.T., Chen, L., and Crabtree, G.R. (2009). MicroRNA-mediated switching of chromatinremodelling complexes in neural development. Nature 460, 642-646.
Yoo, A.S., and Crabtree, G.R. (2009). ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling in neural development. Currunt Opinion in Neurobiology 19, 120-126.
Yoo, A.S., and Greenwald, I. (2005). LIN-12/Notch activation leads to microRNA-mediated downregulation of Vav in C. elegans. Science 310, 1330-1333.
Yoo, A.S., Bais, C., and Greenwald, I. (2004). Crosstalk between the EGFR and LIN-12/Notch pathways in C. elegans vulval development. Science 303, 663-666.
Yu, H., Yoo, A.S.*, and Greenwald, I. (2004). Cluster Analyzer for Transcription Sites (CATS): a C++- based program for identifying clustered transcription factor binding sites. Bioinformatics 20, 1198-1200. *: corresponding author
Yoo, A.S., Cheng, I., Chung, S., Grenfell, T.Z., Lee, H., Pack-Chung, E., Handler, M., Shen, J., Xia, W., Tesco, G., et al. (2000). Presenilin-mediated modulation of capacitative calcium entry. Neuron 27, 561-572.