Principal Investigator

Jing Yan, Ph.D.

Jing Yan is an Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology with an affiliation in the Quantitative Biology Institute at Yale University. His trajectory in Science is a random walk. He received his B.S. in Organic Chemistry at Peking University, working on organic electronics with Jian Pei. He did his Ph.D. research with Steve Granick at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on soft matter physics. With training in chemistry and materials physics, he stumbled into microbiology at Princeton as a postdoctoral researcher, working with Bonnie Bassler, Howard Stone, and Ned Wingreen.  Outside of the lab, he is an avid board game player and collector.  

Postdoctoral Fellows

Qiuting Zhang, Ph.D.

Qiuting graduated from Beijing Institute of Technology with a B.E. degree in 2014 and received her Ph.D. degree from Temple University in Mechanical Engineering in 2019. She loves solving hard mechanical problems and also searching for good food in the city.

Japinder Nijjer, Ph.D.

JP comes to us from Toronto via Cambridge, UK. He did his undergraduate degree in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto and his PhD in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge. When he is not doing science you can catch him at the foosball table mastering his pull shots or on the basketball court perfecting his air balls.  

Thomas Nero, Ph.D.

Tom left the midwest for the east coast to join us here at Yale. He studied as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and earned his PhD in microbiology from Indiana University. While there, he studied the mechanism of natural transformation in Gram negative bacteria. When not in the lab, Tom likes taking long hikes with rewarding views and getting together with friends to play boardgames.

Jung-Shen Benny Tai, Ph.D.

Trained as a physicist, Benny obtained his BS and MS degrees from National Taiwan University and received a PhD degree from University of Colorado Boulder. He decided to dive into the intriguing biofilm matrix after having much fun in studying liquid crystals and topology. In his leisure time, Benny likes to go hiking, do yoga, and enjoy vegan food.

Graduate students

Xin Huang

Xin got her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Nankai University in 2019, focusing on synthetic methodology with Prof. Gong Chen. She is now pursuing her Ph.D. in Chemistry, specifically Chemical Biology at Yale. She enjoys grocery shopping, cooking, and of course, eating delicious food.

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Undergraduate researchers

Cecilia Chak

I am a junior in Benjamin Franklin college and am from northern California. In my free time, I enjoy reading action-adventure fantasy and sometimes classics novels. I also like hiking and pressing flowers.

Shreya Pathak

Shreya is a junior in Morse College, originally from Gainesville, Florida. While she is not studying/doing research, Shreya loves to sing, garden, and go salsa dancing. 

Catherine Geigel

Catherine is a rising senior in Berkeley College majoring in MCDB. She is from Miami, Florida and loves hiking, going to the beach, and being outdoors in the sun. She also enjoys cooking. 


Zhaowei (Zoey) Jiang, postgraduate researcher. Currently a graduate  student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Brown. 

Haoran Lu, undergraduate reseacher. Currently a graduate student in the Department of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell. 

Beth Reed, undergraduate researcher. Currently an undergraduate student at Washington and Lee University majoring in Physics and Biology.

Mengqi Zhao, undergraduate researcher. Currently a graduate student in the Department of Physics at the University of Science and Technology of China.