Xiangyun Wei, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor
  • Department of Opthalmology

Education & Training

  • 1985-1989: Northeast Normal University, China. BS, Majored in Biological Sciences
  • 1989-1992: Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. MS, Majored in Cell Biology
  • 1993-1998: State University of New York at Buffalo, USA. Ph.D., Majored in Cell Biology
  • 1998-2002: Harvard Medical School, USA. Postdoctoral training in zebrafish retinal developmental biology
  • 2002-2003: University of Notre Dame, USA. Postdoctoral training in zebrafish retinal developmental biology

Research Interest Summary

Our lab studies the functions and expression regulation of polarity genes in zebrafish tissue morphogenesis.

Research Categories

Research Interests

During tissue morphogenesis, cells are organized in distinct patterns to form various structures. The molecular mechanisms that underlie tissue morphogenesis are not fully understood. In my laboratory, we study the functions and expression regulation of polarity genes in tissue morphogenesis. We use zebrafish as our experimental animals, and we use the retina, the neural tube, and the notochord as our tissue models. Our research utilizes a variety of experimental approaches that concern Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Developmental Biology. Currently, we are interested in two research topics: the cis- and trans-regulation of polarity genes during development, and the roles of directional cell-cell adhesions in tissue morphogenesis.

Representative Publications

C. Guo, J. Zou, Y. Wen, W. Fang, D. Stolz, M. Sun, X. Wei. (2018) Apical cell-cell adhesions reconcile symmetry and asymmetry in zebrafish neurulation. iScience 3:63-85. A cover story. Media coverage: https://www.pittmed.health.pitt.edu/story/balance.

J. Fu, M. Nagashima, C. Guo, PA. Raymond, X. Wei. (2018) Novel Animal Model of Crumbs-Dependent Progressive Retinal Degeneration That Targets Specific Cone Subtypes.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 59(1):505-518.

W. Fang, C. Guo, X. Wei. (2017) Rainbow enhancers regulate restrictive transcription in teleost green, red, and blue Cones. Journal of Neuroscience. 37:2834-2848. (A cover story.)

J. Zou, X. Wang, and X. Wei (2012) Crb apical polarity proteins maintain zebrafish retinal cone mosaics via intercellular binding of their extracellular domains. Developmental Cell. 22:1261-1274.

J. Zou, X. Yang, X. Wei. (2010) Restricted Localization of Ponli, a Novel Zebrafish MAGUK-family Protein, to the Inner Segment Interface Areas Between Green, Red, and Blue Cones. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 51(3):1738-46.

X. Yang, J. Zou, D. Hyde, L. Davidson, and X. Wei (2009) Stepwise maturation of apicobasal polarity of the neuroepithelium is essential for vertebrate neurulation. Journal of Neuroscience. 29:11426-11440. Highlighted by a journal commentary: Premature Lin7c Expression Produces Multiaxial Mirror Symmetry. J. Neuroscience. This Week in the Journal, 29(37): i.i.

J. Zou, K. Lathrop, M. Sun, X. Wei (2008) Intact RPE maintained by Nok is essential for retinal epithelial polarity and cellular patterning in zebrafish. Journal of Neuroscience. 28:13684 –13695.

X. Wei and J. Malicki. (2002) nagie oko, encoding a MAGUK-family protein, is essential for cellular patterning of the retina. Nature Genetics. 31: 150-157.

X. Wei, S. Somanathan, J. Samarabandu and R. Berezney. (1999). Three-dimensional visualization of transcription sites and their association with splicing factor-rich nuclear speckles. Journal of Cell Biology. 146:543-558. Highlighted by a journal commentary: Matrix-associated Transcription Sites in Three-dimensional Networks. Journal of Cell Biology “In Brief” 146 (3): 1.

X. Wei, J. Samarabandu, R.S. Devdhar, A. Siegel. R. Acharya, R. Berezney. (1998) Segregation of transcription and replication sites into higher order domains. Science. 281: 1502-1505.  Highlighted by an Enhanced Perspective commentary by Dr. Peter Cook (Oxford University):  Duplicating a Tangled Genome. Science. 281: 1466 – 1467.   Also highlighted by another journal commentary: Taking turns at the genome. Science, “This Week in Science” 281:5382.