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 biofuels and high protein diets generate needs for higher yield and dietary value in crop plants. Therefore, it is important to have a better understanding of photosynthetic apparatus and relationships between photosynthesis and amino acid production. The Lu Laboratory uses genetic and biochemical approaches to understand the biogenesis and repair of photosynthetic complexes. In addition, in collaboration with Rob Last’s group (https://bmb.natsci.msu.edu/faculty/robert-l-last/) 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 being done by phenotypic characterization (http://bioinfo.bch.msu.edu/2010_LIMS) and correlation network analysis of insertion mutants.

Focused studies:

  • Functions of thylakoid zinc-finger proteins in biogenesis and repair of photosynthetic complexes.
  • Evolution of LQY1 during plants transition from water to land.
  • Plastid RNA editing.
  • Role of a NFU-type proteins in the assembly and transfer and iron-sulfur clusters.


  • 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:

  • James O’Donnell, Ph.D. student
  • Ruchi Ojha, Ph.D. student
  • Manasa Satyanarayan, M.S. student
  • Sianoush Fereidani, undergraduate
  • Jessica Zhang, high school student

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