Ying-Hui Fu, PhD

Department of Neurology
+1 415 502-2948
Research Description: 

Dr. Fu’s research uses human genetics combined with multiple model organisms to investigate molecular mechanisms of human conditions. Her laboratory has been focusing on two areas: one in myelin biology and the other in circadian rhythm and sleep behaviors. For myelin biology, they investigate the interlocking networks of protein-coding genes and non-coding RNAs in ensuring a healthy myelin. For circadian and sleep behaviors, over the last 15 years, she and her colleagues identified several mutations that lead to extreme morning lark phenotype. In addition, they are investigating the genetic basis for human subjects to have shorter sleep duration. Since circadian rhythm and sleep homeostasis are intimately connected with many physiological pathways including metabolism, immune function, and mood regulation, to name but a few, these studies will also shed new light on how sleep schedule and sleep homeostasis can impact on health.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Research Summary: 
Molecular understanding of human sleep behaviors



Human genetics and sleep behavior.

Current opinion in neurobiology

Shi G, Wu D, Ptácek LJ, Fu YH

The intricate dance of post-translational modifications in the rhythm of life.

Nature structural & molecular biology

Hirano A, Fu YH, Ptácek LJ

Sleep and Mood: Chicken or Egg?

Biological psychiatry

Ptáoek LJ, Fu YH, Krystal AD

A Cryptochrome 2 mutation yields advanced sleep phase in humans.


Hirano A, Shi G, Jones CR, Lipzen A, Pennacchio LA, Xu Y, Hallows WC, McMahon T, Yamazaki M, Ptácek LJ, Fu YH

A PERIOD3 variant causes a circadian phenotype and is associated with a seasonal mood trait.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Zhang L, Hirano A, Hsu PK, Jones CR, Sakai N, Okuro M, McMahon T, Yamazaki M, Xu Y, Saigoh N, Saigoh K, Lin ST, Kaasik K, Nishino S, Ptácek LJ, Fu YH