Li-En Jao

image of Li-En Jao

Assistant Professor


Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine

Offices and Labs

4415 Tupper Hall (office)
+1 530 752 3424
4411 & 4312 Tupper Hall (labs)



2004 PhD Cell and Developmental Biology Rutgers University
1995 BS Life Science National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Research Interests

Centrosomes and Cilia in Cell and Developmental Biology

We study how the centrosome and the cilium coordinate signals that regulate cell function and influence development. Our research focuses on how the pericentriolar material (PCM) is organized and how it contributes to centrosome maturation. We also investigate how centrosomal dysfunction at the cellular level is translated into developmental defects at the organismal level. We use zebrafish, tissue culture systems, and a variety of molecular, genetic, and biochemical approaches. We also use advanced microscopy in our study. Current projects focus on how the PCM is dynamically organized at different cell cycle stages and how the neurogenesis program is affected upon centrosomal dysfunction during zebrafish early development.


2005 - 2008 Visiting Fellow Award (Postdoctoral), NHGRI, NIH
2006 Fellows Award for Research Excellence, NIH

Department and Center Affiliations

Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine


The American Society for Cell Biology
Society for Developmental Biology
Society for Neuroscience

CBS Grad Group Affiliations

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Integrative Genetics and Genomics

Specialties / Focus

Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell Division and the Cytoskeleton
  • Differentiation, Morphogenesis and Wound Healing
  • Gene Regulation
  • Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Neurobiology
  • Organelle and Membrane Biology
  • RNA
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cell Biology
Integrative Genetics and Genomics
  • Model Organism Genetics
  • Developmental Genetics


Jao lab (4411 Tupper Hall) website


CHA 403 Neuroanatomy
BCB 210 Molecular Genetics & Genomics
MCB 259 Develop Biology Lit
MMI 210 Animal Models of Infectious Disease


  • Preprints

    Co-translational protein targeting facilitates centrosomal recruitment of PCNT during centrosome maturation.

    Sepulveda G, Antkowiak M, Brust-Mascher I, Mahe K, Ou T, Castro N, Christensen LN, Cheung L, Yoon D, Huang B, and Jao LE. BioRxiv. doi:



    Please click here for a complete list of peer-reviewed publications