The endowed Yen Fellows Program has been established to attract postdoctoral level researchers who will be associated with one or more IBD faculty but have the freedom to conduct research independently. This program is supported by the endowment of a gift from U of C Chemistry Department alumnus Yung-Tsai Yen, PhD ’75, and his wife Ho-Tzu.


Shailaja Seetharaman

2021 Yen Fellow

My research aims to understand subcellular dynamics that control tissue organization and functioning, in physiological and pathological conditions. In particular, I am interested in deciphering the cytoskeletal crosstalk mechanisms that contribute to cell adhesion, migration and mechanotransduction in normal tissues, and how alterations in these cellular processes can drive disease progression. During my postdoctoral work in Margaret Gardel’s Lab, I am investigating how the LIM domain family of proteins sense and adapt to mechanical stresses to trigger specific downstream mechanotransduction pathways.  optogenetics, and organoid cultures. In my postdoctoral research, I will leverage this expertise towards understanding the role of LIM domain proteins in mechanotransduction.

Bei Liu

2021 Yen Fellow

Bei Liu is a postdoctoral researcher working in Dr. Chuan He’s lab in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago.  His research focuses on understanding the biological functions of epitranscriptomic modifications.  He graduated from Duke University where he worked on investigating the impact of chemical modifications on RNA structure and dynamics.  He is interested in developing methods to manipulate RNA structure and activity in cells.

 Riccardo RavasioRiccardo Ravasio

2020 Yen Fellow

Riccardo is a postdoc in Arvind Murugan and Rama Ranganathan’s groups since July 2021. He is interested in the connection between structure, function and evolution in biology both at the microbial and protein level. Prior to this, Riccardo pursued his PhD at EPFL in Lausanne under the supervision of Matthieu Wyart. He worked on understanding the physical principles behind the emergence of long-range functional response in elastic material as a proxy to understand allostery in proteins. He also worked with inference models to predict allosteric function from sequence data.