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Fengyi Wan, PhD, dissects the interactions between host cells, the microbiota, and pathogens to understand health and diseases in the colon.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room W8515
(410) 955-2926

Research Interests

signal transduction; pathogen-host-microbiota interactions; RNA-binding proteins; colitis; colon tumorigenesis; autoimmune diseases.

Experiences & Accomplishments
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Wuhan University

Our laboratory is interested in investigating the signal transduction and gene regulation in bacterially induced colonic infection, inflammation, and tumorigenesis. Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) signaling pathways are crucial for host defense against bacterial infections and play an important role in tumorigenesis in the colon. We are studying the molecular/cellular mechanisms and pathophysiological significance of impaired NF-kB signal transduction and gene transactivation in bacterial infection-associated colonic inflammation and tumorigenesis, using a combination of genetic, immunological, molecular, and cellular approaches. In particular, we are interested to examine how the virulence proteins (effectors) from attaching/effacing pathogens interfere with NF-kB signaling and subvert inflammatory responses in colon epithelial cells, to elucidate the key immune cell signaling that orchestrates innate and adaptive immune responses to colonic bacterial infection, and to explore the critical pathogen-host interactions that can be mechanistically linked to microbially induced colon cancer etiology in mice.

Postdoc positions are available. Please contact Fengyi Wan ( for the details.

Honors & Awards

Yong-Ling Liu Award, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2002); Director Award, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2003); Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award in Cancer Research, NCI (2008); AAI-Invitrogen Trainee Achievement Award, American Association of Immunologists (2009); American Cancer Society Research Scholar, ACS (2013); Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award (2017); Idea Development Award, Department of Defense (2019).

Select Publications

Most recent publications

  • Liu Y, Fu K, Wier EM, Lei Y, Hodgson A, Xu D, Xia X, Zheng D, Ding H, Sears CL, Yang J, Wan F (2022) Bacterial genotoxin accelerates transient infection-driven murine colon tumorigenesis. Cancer Discov. 12(1): 236-249

  • Wang F, Xu D, Su H, Zhang W, Sun X, Monroe MK, Chakroun RW, Wang Z, Dai W, Oh R, Wang H, Fan Q, Wan F, Cui H (2020) Supramolecular prodrug hydrogelator as an immune booster for checkpoint blocker-based immunotherapy. Sci Adv. 6(18): eaaz8985

  • Xia X, Liu Y, Hodgson A, Xu D, Guo W, Yu H, She W, Zhou C, Lan L, Fu K, Vallance BA, Wan F (2019) EspF is crucial for Citrobacter rodentium-induced tight junction disruption and lethality in immunocompromised animals. PLoS Pathog. 15(6): e1007898

  • Sun X, Fu K, Hodgson A, Wier EM, Wen MG, Kamenyeva O, Xia X, Koo LY, Wan F (2016) Sam68 is required for DNA damage responses via regulating poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation. PLoS Biol. 14(9): e1002543

  • Fu K, Sun X, Wier EM, Hodgson A, Liu Y, Sears CL, Wan F. (2016) Sam68/KHDRBS1 is critical for colon tumorigenesis by regulating genotoxic stress-induced NF-kB activation. Elife 5: e15018