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 regulation of photosynthetic complexes, as well as connections between photosynthesis and amino acid metabolism. Dr. Lu also serves as the principal investigator of an NSF-funded Research Experiences for Teachers Sites in Biological Sciences (BIORETS) program at WMU. This program provides middle and high school science teachers in Southwest Michigan with authentic research experience and transformative curricular improvement and professional development opportunities.

Focused studies:

  • Functions of chloroplast stromal chaperone proteins in chloroplast protein import and thylakoid membrane integration.
  • Assembly and transfer and iron–sulfur clusters in chloroplasts and mitochondria.
  • How plants respond to high light stress and environmental pollutants such as PFAS.


  • NSF (MCB-1244008, PI: Lu, Co-PI: Rob Last; 2013-2018)
  • NSF (DBI-2146882, PI: Yan Lu, Co-PI: Silvia Rossbach; 2022-2025)
  • WMU SFSA (2011-2012)
  • WMU RDA (2012-2013)
  • WMU FRACAA (2012-2013)
  • WMU FRACAA (2016-2017)
  • WMU FRACAA (2021-2022)

The Lu Laboratory:

  • Alex Kolstoe, M.S. student
  • Joshua VanSlambrouck, undergraduate student

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