Hongjie Li, PhD
Principal Investigator

Hongjie got his bachelor’s degree from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2010. He joined Dr. Henri Jasper’s lab as a PhD student at University of Rochester and moved with the Jasper lab to the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California, where Hongjie completed his PhD work in 2016. Hongjie used Drosophila fruit fly as the model organism, and his PhD work involved a variety of topics, including gut stem cell function, gut microbiota, inflammation and aging. Hongjie got his postdoctoral training with Dr. Liqun Luo at Stanford University, where he combined single-cell RNAseq with genetic tools to study fly neural wiring during brain development.

Currently, Hongjie is an assistant professor and CPRIT Scholar at Huffington Center on Aging & Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). His research focuses on understanding aging with the ultimate goal of improving human healthy lifespan. [BCM profile]

Yanyan Qi
Research Associate &
Lab manager

Yanyan obtained her medical bachelor’s degree of Clinical Medicine from Xinxiang Medical University in China in 2011 and did one-year internship in Hospital. From 2012 to 2016, she worked in Dr. Henri Jasper lab as a Research Assistant at the Buck Institute, Novato CA. Later, she worked as a Life science research professional in Dr. Howard Chang lab at Stanford University, and then as a Senior Research Associate at PACT Pharma in South San Francisco. Before coming to Baylor College of Medicine, she worked with Dr. Ansu Satpathy as LSRP3 at Stanford University. Currently in Li lab, Yanyan is a Research associate and the lab manager. Outside the lab, Yanyan loves cooking, and has recorded every single meal in an Excel table for the last several years. 

Yanyan’s lab expertise includes FACS, scRNAseq, scATACseq, TCR-seq and proteomics. [Google Scholar]

Niccole Auld
Graduate student

Niccole graduated from the University of West Florida with her bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences in 2019. She then joined the cancer and cell biology program at BCM, where she now works in Dr. Li’s lab. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, taking care of her ever-expanding houseplant collection, and playing with her two cats named Ellie and Salem. 

Tzu-Chiao Lu
Postdoctoral fellow (joining 2021/06)

coming soon

Tzu-Chiao is a molecular and computational biologist.

David Vacek
undergraduate student


Undergraduate, Stanford University

  • Bioinformatics tool development
  • Drosophila genetics
  • neural signal modeling

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