Yan Lu

Photo of Yan  Lu
Yan Lu
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
(269) 387-2084
3149 Wood Hall, Mail Stop 5410
Mailing address: 
Department of Biological Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5410 USA
Research interests: 
  • Plant physiology

Dr. Yan Lu is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University.

Photosynthesis provides chemical energy for nearly all life forms on earth. The rising human population and increasing demand for food, fiber and fuel generate needs for higher photosynthetic efficiency in crop plants. The Lu Laboratory uses genetic, biochemical and physiological approaches to understand the import, assembly and repair of photosynthetic proteins and complexes. In addition, in collaboration with Rob Last’s group (https://bmb.natsci.msu.edu/faculty/robert-l-last/)  at MSU, the Lu Lab seeks to identify and understand novel connections between photosynthesis and amino acid accumulation (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1244008). This is accomplished by phenotypic characterization  and correlation network analysis of insertion mutants.

Focused studies:

  • Functions of chloroplast stromal chaperone proteins in chloroplast protein import and thylakoid membrane integration.
  • Evolution of a thylakoid zinc–finger protein during plants transition from water to land.
  • Assembly and transfer and iron–sulfur clusters in chloroplasts and mitochondria.


  • NSF (MCB-1244008, PI: Lu, Co-PI:  Last; 2013-2018)
  • WMU SFSA (2011-2012)
  • WMU RDA (2012-2013)
  • WMU FRACAA (2012-2013)
  • WMU FRACAA (2016-2017)

The Lu Laboratory:

  • Jun Zhao, Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Mojde Sedaghat, Ph.D. student
  • Shejal Soumen, Ph.D. student
  • Alex Kolstoe, M.S. student
  • Audrey Searing, undergraduate student
  • Mike Voyt, undergraduate student

Personal webpage

Google Scholar