Principle Investigator

    Hansen He

    Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network
    Associate Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto
    Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Brazilian Ball Chair in Prostate Cancer Research, University of Toronto
    email: <>
    Dr. He is an experimental and computational biologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. His research program focuses on understanding epigenetic mechanisms underlying cancer development, progression and therapy response, with the aim of identifying epigenetic biomarkers and therapeutic targets to improve treatment outcomes of cancer patients.

    Dr. He obtained his PhD in molecular biology and bioinformatics at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2008. He then received postdoctoral training under the joint supervision of computational biologist Dr. Shirley Liu and cancer biologist Dr. Myles Brown at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard University. Dr. He was recruited as a scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and assistant professor at the Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto in 2013. He was promoted to senior scientist and associate professor in 2018.

    Dr. He is recognized internationally for three discoveries that include pioneering the use of chromatin dynamics to predict transcription factor binding, elucidating the roles of noncoding RNAs in cancer biology and illuminating epigenetic vulnerabilities in cancer cells. Dr. He has authored over 70 publications at high profile journals including Cell (2018, 2019), Nature Genetics (2016, 2020) and Nature Cell Biology (2020). The translational research in Dr. He’s laboratory has resulted in one phase II clinical trial and two patents. Dr. He has received many distinctions and recognitions, including a number of new investigator awards from national funding agencies, as well as being named a rising star in prostate cancer research.


    Amelia Navarrete

    Administrative Assistant
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    Nayeema Akhtar

    Research Technician
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    Nayeema has a MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Dhaka, with a focus on Immunology and vaccine development. She is currently working as a Research Technician at He Lab.

Postdoctoral Fellows

    Shiyan Wang

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    email: <>
    Shiyan got her PhD degree at Medical Sciences at Department of Medicine, Chinese University of Hongkong in 2011. After that she worked as a lecturer in University of Science & Technology Beijing for about two years and then became a postdoctoral fellow at Research Laboratory of Institute of Digestive Disease, The Chinese University of Hongkong since 2014. She have been focusing on identifying novel tumor suppressor genes epigenetically down-regulated in gastrointestinal cancer progression and elucidating the function of these genes and its clinical significance. In 2016 she joined Prof. Hansen He’s lab, at the Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto. Her current goal is to elucidate the transcriptome disorder caused by m6A RNA modification in human cancers by m6A profiling analysis and identify novel oncogenes/tumor suppressor genes dysregulated by m6A RNA modification.

    Fraser Soares

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    email: <>
    Fraser obtained his PhD at the University of Toronto in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. His PhD work examined the role of cytosolic innate immune receptors (NOD-like receptors) in cell death and tumorigenesis. His current research aims to identify driver long non-coding RNAs(lncRNAs) in cancer malignancies, by performing genetic screens using the CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing system. This project will provide a platform to rapidly identify functional lncRNAs in cancer, which may lead to the advancement of biomarker discovery and new therapeutic intervention. Fraser is also a part-time Lecturer at the local College where he teaches Biology & Chemistry related courses.

    Yong Zeng

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    email: <>
    Yong obtained his PhD degree in Engineering at Xiamen University, China, in 2016. During his doctoral study, his research focus was to elucidate the genotype-phenotype relationships using computational approaches, and he also had been a visiting researcher at Texas A&M University, USA, for one year. He joined in Dr. He’s lab at the beginning of December, 2016, and is working on m6A profiling analysis in human cancer cells. His long term goal is to employ multi-omics data to help uncovering the molecular mechanisms in cancer developing.

    Xin Xu

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    email: <>
    Xin completed his first postdoc program at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After that, he joined He lab in October 2016. Currently, he is working on identifying functional circRNA in prostate cancer, and aim to provide new improved biomarkers and therapy targets that will lead to better diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

    Guanghui Zhu

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    email: <>
    Guanghui got his PhD degree from Tongji University in 2019. His PhD work integrated omics data and molecular interaction network to get better understanding of biological problem. Currently, he is working on single cell RNA sequencing data of prostate cancer. His current goal is to identify cell subpopulation associated with disease progression of prostate cancer.

    Xinpei Ci

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    email: <>
    Xinpei obtained her PhD degree in Genetics at Nankai University, China, and received a two-year joint training at Emory University, USA. Her PhD work studied the role of a prostate cancer suppressor gene by using genetically engineered mouse models. She completed her first postdoc training under the supervision of Dr.Yuzhuo Wang at the Vancouver Prostate Centre, UBC, where she utilized patient-derived xenograft models to identify and study driver genes in prostate cancer hormonal therapy resistance. Xinpei joined Dr. Hansen He’s lab in December 2020 and is currently working on epigenetic mechanisms involved in neuroendocrine prostate cancer.

Visiting Scholars

    Wenbin Ye

    Visiting Scholar
    email: <>
    I am Wenbin Ye, a PhD candidate majoring in Systems Engineering at Xiamen University, China. I started my research in bioinformatics from 2015, and mainly focus on the development of bioinformatics algorithms/tools and data mining of large-scale genomics data. I joined Dr. He’ s lab as a visiting PhD student in September, 2019.

    Moliang Chen

    Visiting Scholar
    email: <>
    Moliang is a PhD candidate in Engineering from Xiamen University, China. His research focuses on data mining and algorithm design in bioinformation. He joined in Dr. He’s lab as a visiting student in Jan. 2019, and works on circRNA translation and shRNA design in the laboratory.

    Yin Liu

    Visiting Scholar
    email: <>
    Yin received his PhD degree from Tongji University in 2016. His PhD work integrated epigenetic features with nascent transcription in human cancer cell cycle stages, and had been a visiting student at Dana Farber Cancer Institute from 2012-2014. He is a doctor at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Department of Laboratory Medicine in China. He is also an instructor and postgraduate supervisor at Tongji University, School of Medicine. He is current working on m6A profiling in nascent transcription in prostate cancer.

Graduate Students

    Sujun Chen

    PhD Candidate
    email: <>
    Sujun recieved her MSc degree in bioinformatics from Tongji University before coming to the Department of Medical Biophysics. Her research is focused on circular RNA detection and regulation.

    Peiran Su

    PhD Candidate
    email: <>
    Peiran received his Honours of Bachelor of Science degree at University of Toronto in Biochemistry. He is now a M. Sc. candidate in the Department of Medical Biophysics. Peiran is co-supervised by Dr. Ming Tsao. His research is focused on extending the CRISPR screens into SCLC PDX models.

    Mona Teng

    PhD Candidate
    email: <>
    Mona obtained her Honours Bachelor of Science at University of Toronto with a specialist in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and a major in Biochemistry. She is currently a masters student in the department of Medical Biophysics. Her current project focuses on characterizing circular RNAs implicated in neuroendocrine prostate cancer. Mona is also co-supervised by Dr. Brian Raught to develop a new method for elucidating RNA-protein interactome.

    Helen Zhu

    PhD Candidate
    email: <>
    Helen received her undergraduate degree from McMaster University in the BHSc (Hons) program with a specialization in Biochemistry and a minor in Mathematics. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Medical Biophysics. Her current project focuses on M6A modifications in cancer.


Jessica Petricca

MSc Student
Current Position: Medical Student, University of Toronto

Musadeqque Ahmed

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position: Staff Scientist, Roche

Yibo Xue

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow

Haiyang Guo

Postdoctoral Fellow
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Shandong University

Zhao Wei

Visiting Scholar
Current Position: Clinical Laboratory Technician, Shandong University

Tony Hua

PhD Student
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at UCSF

Miranda Wang

Current Position: Dentistry at Western

Jennifer Lu

Current Position: Undergraduate Student at U of T

Christine Sarah Poon

Summer Student, 2014
Current Position: BMSc at University of Western Ontario

Jens Langstein

Exchange student, Sept-Dec 2014
Current Position: Graduate student, German Cancer Research Centre and National Center for Tumor Diseases, Heidelberg Germany

Urooj Sheikh

Summer student, 2015
Current Position: BSc student in University of Toronto-Mississauga

Yuchen Li

Summer student, 2015
Current Position: Medical student, University of Toronto

Catherine Lu

Summer student, 2015, 2016
Current Position: Medical Student

Yi Liang

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2016
Current Position: Research associate, TMDT

Tran Nguyen

Intern, 2016
Current Position: MSc student, McGill University

Xiaotong Yang

Research Student, 2016
Current Position: BSc student, University of Toronto

Xutao Wang

Research Student, 2017
Current Position: MSc student, Harvard University

Xue Bai

Visiting scholar, 2017
Current Position: Director of Forensic Medicine, Ministry of public security China

Yuzhe Zhang

PhD candidate, 2017
Current Position: Lecturer, University of Dali