Yun Liang

Position title: Assistant Professor, Medical Microbiology & Immunology


Phone: Immunometabolism; sexual dimorphism; endocrine regulation of immunity

BS 2007 Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
PhD 2013 University of California San Diego & the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, CA
Postdoctoral Position: 2015-2018 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

NIH Biosketch
Laboratory Website

Research Focus

Our lab studies sex differences in biology and diseases. We ask why these sex differences exist. We hypothesize that sex differences are important to the biology of the species such that they are selected during evolution.

In humans, one of the most remarkable differences between men and women is represented in the manifestation of immune-associated diseases. Many autoimmune diseases feature increased prevalence in females (~78% female overall and up to ~ 95% female for specific diseases). In contrast, infectious diseases affect more men than women. These phenotypic variations are determined by molecular differences between the two sexes as well as their interactions with the environment.

Our lab seeks to determine the potential roles of genetic factors, hormonal factors as well as their interactions in causing sexual dimorphism in immunity. We use a combination of -omic, molecular, cell-based, and animal-based approaches.

We hope our research will eventually lead to novel ways to prevent or treat autoimmune diseases, infections, and immune-associated metabolic disorders. Meanwhile, we pose this hypothetical question – if sex-biased disorders is a direct result of evolution, how will its eradication shape the future of human beings?

Program Activities

  • Joined ERP program: 2019


Current ERP students

  • Robbie Manuel (ERP PhD minor in progress)

No past ERP students