Lab Members

Jun Yang, Ph.D.Jun

Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Neurobiology and Anatomy
Member, Molecular Biology Program
Member, Neuroscience Program

Jun obtained her B.S. degree from the Biology Department at Nankai University in China. After working in the industry for 7 years, she came to the United States and started her Ph.D. study at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She got her Ph.D. degree in Dr. R. Thomas Zoeller's laboratory, where she studied the gene expression changes in fetal alcohol syndrome using rat. Then, she joined the Berman-Gund laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations at Harvard Medical School under the supervision of Dr. Tiansen Li. In 2008, Jun established her own laboratory as an assistant professor at the John A Moran Eye Center, University of Utah. In 2014, she was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.


Junhuang Zou, Ph.D.Junhuang

Postdoctoral Fellow

Junhuang graduated with his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Yangzhou University, China. Later on, he earned his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Genetics and Development Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Junhuang joined the Yang laboratory in 2009. His research interests are gene therapy for USH2D using AAV and genetics of Usher syndrome.



Qian Chen, Ph.D.Qian

Postdoctoral Fellow

Qian earned her B.S. degree from Hebei University of Science and Technology, her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from China Agricultural University, Beijing, China. Before she came to the Yang laboratory, she was a research associate at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science, studying the functional regulation of calcium signaling pathway and DNA damage/repair pathway in neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, her research focus is on the interactions among Usher proteins.


Ali S. SharifApril

Ph.D. Candidate

Ali is a second-year graduate student in the Biological Chemistry Program/Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. He grew up in Salt Lake city and graduated with an Honor B.S. degree in Biology. He did his honors thesis on the tumor suppressor protein p53 under the guidance of Dr. Carol Lim. In the Yang lab, he is interested in photoreceptor biology and the mechanisms underlying retinal ciliopathies.


Pranav D. MathurPranav

Ph.D. Candidate

Pranav got his B.V.Sc. and A.H. degree from Maharashtra Animal and Fishery Sciences University, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India and his M.V.Sc. degree from Guru Angad Dev Animal and Veterinary Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. His master's research was on the problem "Genetic analysis of bilateral asymmetry and disease resistance vis-a-vis major histocompatibility complex using PCR-SSP in chicken". He is now studying the Usher proteins in hair cells in the Yang lab.



Deepti Vashistdeepti


Deepti got her M.V.Sc. degree from Guru Angad Dev Animal and Veterinary Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. She now teams up with Pranav to study the Usher proteins in hair cells.