Yifei Cai, PhD

My long-term research interests are to develop a comprehensive understanding of key molecular and cellular mechanisms of neuronal and glial functions in health and neural disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. I received my PhD in 2018 from Peking University (China), under the mentorship of Dr. Jun Wan and Dr. Zhenguo Wu. My doctoral dissertation focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of competing endogenous RNA regulators in Alzheimer’s disease, specifically, how different endogenous non-coding RNA species compete with each other through microRNA response elements and regulate biological processes in the context of Alzheimer’s disease. During my predoctoral traineeship with Dr. Joseph A. Gogos at Columbia University in the City of New York, I studied schizophrenia-associated rare de novo mutations. In 2018, I started my postdoctoral training in Dr. Jaime Grutzendler’s lab at Yale University, where I focus on studying molecular and cellular mechanisms in axonal pathology and neuronal-glial interactions in Alzheimer’s Disease. I employ toolkit including proximity labeling proteomics, high-resolution confocal imaging, viral-mediated genetic manipulations and longitudinal two-photon imaging, using an AD-model mice in vivo system and postmortem human brain specimens.