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Peng Yao, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Administrative: (585) 276-7698

Office: (585) 276-7708

Fax: (585) 276-9829

Faculty Appointments


Professional Background

Dr. Yao earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology from Wuhan University in 2003. He received his Ph.D. degree in the laboratory of Dr. En-Duo Wang in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Chinese Academy of Science in 2008, where he studied the structural and functional interplay of transfer RNA (tRNA) and tRNA synthetase in bacteria, yeast and human. During his post-doctoral training under Dr. Paul Fox at Lerner Research Institute of Cleveland Clinic, he made contributions in understanding the translational control mechanisms regulating VEGFA (vascular endothelial growth factor-A) expression in human monocytes. He was then promoted to Research Associate in 2012, Project Scientist in 2013, and Assistant Professor (non-tenure track) of Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine in 2014. Dr. Yao was recruited to the University of Rochester Medical Center as an Assistant Professor in 2016.


Regulatory non-coding RNAs and RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are important research areas in gene regulation and RNA biology. Our laboratory is interested in the understanding of pathophysiological function and molecular mechanism of new non-coding RNAs (and RBPs) and new modes of gene regulation in cardiac system and cardiovascular disease. We recently discovered a new type of stress-responsive, protein-directed human RNA switch that regulates expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A in human monocytic cells (Ray, PS, et al. Nature 2008 457: 915-919; Yao, P, et al. Plos Biology 2013 11: e1001635) and may play a role in cardiovascular disorders and cancers. Intriguingly, some of these RNA switches involve the interplay between microRNA and RNA-binding protein (Jafarifar, F, et al. EMBO Journal 2011 30: 1324-1334). We also identified a novel mRNA processing mechanism that expands human proteome at the posttranscriptional level and regulates gene expression (Yao, P, et al. Cell 2012 149: 88-100). Our current research interest includes: (1) Pathophysiological function and regulatory mechanism of microRNA (and other noncoding RNA) and RNA-binding proteins in cardiac system and cardiovascular disorders; (2) Riboswitch-like RNA switch mechanisms of gene regulation in mammalian system; (3) The role of translation machinery and translational control in cardiovascular system and identification of therapeutic targets for treatment of cardiovascular diseases (e.g., cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure). We employ various approaches and methods of biochemistry and biophysics, molecular and cellular biology, and genetic and surgical mouse models, to dissect the convergent and divergent regulatory pathways. The long-term objective of our laboratory is to identify novel RNA-based molecular mechanisms that control gene expression and conduct pathophysiological function in cardiac system, as well as to develop novel therapeutic approaches for the prevention or treatment of human cardiovascular diseases.



BS | China-Wuhan University

PhD | China-Chinese Academy of Sciences
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

08/2008 - 11/2012
Postdoctoral Fellow Laboratory of Paul L. Fox, Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH


2016 - 2017
Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative Core Utilization Pilot Grant
Location: Case Western Reserve University

Elsa Albrecht Research Associate Award, 1st Place, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, LRI
Location: Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic

2013 - 2017
Scientist Development Grant
Location: American Heart Association

Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate Award for Excellence in Research, LRI
Location: Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic

Elsa Albrecht Fellow Award, 1st Place, Department of Cell Biology, LRI
Location: Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic

2010 - 2012
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Location: American Heart Association

Di'ao Scholarship from Chinese Academy of Sciences (1st Place)

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Journal Articles

Subbaiah KCV, Wu J, Tang WHW, Yao P. "FAM114A1 influences cardiac pathological remodeling by regulating angiotensin II signaling." JCI insight.. 2022 Jun 7; Epub 2022 Jun 07.

Wu J, Venkata Subbaiah KC, Jiang F, Hedaya O, Mohan A, Yang T, Welle K, Ghaemmaghami S, Tang WHW, Small E, Yan C, Yao P. "MicroRNA-574 regulates FAM210A expression and influences pathological cardiac remodeling." EMBO molecular medicine.. 2020 Dec 28; :e12710. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Lyu QR, Yao P, Miano JM. "Generating a CRISPR knockout mouse through a strong premature termination codon: a cautionary tale." Journal of biomedical research.. 2020 Dec 25; 35(2):174-178.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in cell signaling
Book Title: The Enzymes
Author List: Peng Yao, Paul L. Fox
Edited By: Laurie S. Kaguni
Published By: Elsevier 2020

Chapter Title: Non-catalytic regulation of gene expression by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. Topics in Current Chemistry
Book Title: Topics in Current Chemistry
Author List: Peng Yao, Kiran Poruri, Susan A. Martinis, Paul L. Fox.
Edited By: Editor: Kim Sunghoon, Professor, Seoul National University)
Published By: Springer 2013