Qian Bian - Post-Doctoral Scholar

131 Koshland Hall
(510) 643-5583

Mailing Address:
University of California Berkeley
16 Barker Hall, MC 3204
Berkeley, CA 94720-3204









Research Summary

The genomes of eukaryotes are organized into highly complex and non-random structures in the nucleus. Increasing evidence suggests that the spatial organization of genomes may play important roles in regulating the genome functions such as transcription, replication and DNA repair. However, how the higher-order chromosome structure is established and modulated and how the chromosome organization influence genome functions remains poorly understood.

The C.elegans dosage compensation provides a powerful model system for tackling these questions. In C. elegans, dosage compensation equalizes the X-linked gene expression between males (XO) and hermaphrodites (XX) by reducing transcription from both hermaphrodite X-Chromosomes by half. This chromosome-wide regulatory process is enacted by a condensin-like dosage compensation complex (DCC), which is first recruited to a set of recruitment sites (rex) and then spreads onto secondary binding sites throughout the X-Chromosomes. Recent studies in the lab have shown that the DCC actively reshapes the topology of X-Chromosomes by reinforcing the boundaries between Mbp-sized topological domains (TADs), hence enhancing the compartmentalization of X-Chromosomes. Using a combination of genomic, microscopic and genome engineering approaches, I aim to: (1) elucidate the mechanisms by which the DCC regulates the formation of TADs; (2) dissect the functional relationships between DCC-dependent organization of TADs and transcriptional repression; and (3) develop new methods to engineer higher-order chromosome structures. Ultimately, my goal is to achieve a better understanding of the roles of higher-order chromosome organization in regulating the plasticity and stability of transcription programs during development and diseases.


Wheeler BS, Anderson E, Frøkjær-Jensen C, Bian Q, Jorgensen E, Meyer BJ. (2016) Chromosome-wide mechanisms to decouple gene expression from gene dose during sex-chromosome evolution eLife 2016 August 30;5 [PDF]

Crane, E., Bian, Q., McCord, R.P., Lajoie, B.R., Wheeler, B. S., Ralston, E.J., Uzawa, S., Dekker, J., Meyer, B.J. (2015) Condensin-driven remodelling of X chromosome topology during dosage compensation. Nature, 1 June 2015 doi:10.1038/nature14450 [PDF]

Bian Q*, Khanna N*, Alvikas J and Belmont AS, "β-Globin cis-elements determine differential nuclear targeting through epigenetic modifications" J Cell Biol. 2013; 203(5):767-83 (* Equal contribution.)

Lo TW, Pickle CS, Lin S, Ralston EJ, Gurling M, Schartner CM, Bian Q, Doudna JA, Meyer BJ, "Precise and heritable genome editing in evolutionarily diverse nematodes using TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer insertions and deletions" Genetics. 2013; 195(2):331-48.

Khanna N, Bian Q, Plutz M and Belmont AS, "BAC manipulations for making BAC transgene arrays" Methods Mol Biol. 2013; 1042:197-210.

Bian Q and Belmont AS, "Revisiting higher-order and large-scale chromatin organization" Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2012; 24(3):359-66.

Belmont AS, Hu Y, Sinclair PB, Wu W, Bian Q, Kireev I, "Insights into interphase large-scale chromatin structure from analysis of engineered chromosome regions" Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2010; 75:453-60.

Sinclair P, Bian Q, Plutz M, Heard E and Belmont AS, "Dynamic plasticity of large-scale chromatin structure revealed by self-assembly of engineered chromosome regions" J Cell Biol. 2010; 190 (5): 761-76.

Bian Q and Belmont AS, "BAC TG EXPRESS: One step method for high-level, copy number dependent, position independent transgene expression" Nucleic Acids Res. 2010; 38 (11): e127.

Wang Y, Wei Z, Bian Q, Cheng Z, Wan M, Liu L and Gong W, " Crystal structure of human bisphosphoglycerate mutase" J Biol Chem. 2004; 279(37):39132-8.


"X-Chromosome restructuring imposed by the C.elegans Dosage Compensation Complex", Poster presentation, 8th Nuclear Organization & Function Meeting, Cold Spring Harbor, NY. Aug 2014

"C.elegans X chromosome restructuring imposed by Dosage Compensation Complex and its relationship to Nuclear Pore", 19th International C.elegans Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. Jun 2013 (Plenary Session)

"C.elegans X chromosome restructuring imposed by Dosage Compensation Complex and its relationship to Nuclear Pore", Bay Area Worm Meeting, Davis, CA. Apr 2013

"C.elegans X chromosome restructuring imposed by Dosage Compensation Complex and its relationship to Nuclear Pore", Poster presentation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scientific Meeting, Ashburn, VA. Sep 2012.

"Identifying DNA sequences required for localization of the human beta-globin locus to the nuclear periphery", Poster presentation, American Society for Cell Biology 50th annual meeting, Philadelphia, PA. Dec 2010.

"BAC TG EXPRESS: One step method for high-level, copy number dependent, position independent transgene expression", Poster presentation, American Society for Cell Biology 49th annual meeting, San Diego, CA. Dec 2009.

2004 - 2011
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D. in Biophysics

1998 - 2003
Special Class of Gifted Youth and School of Life Science
University of Science and Technology of China
B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology