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Yuping Mei, Ph.D.

Yuping Mei, Ph.D.

Headshot of Yuping Mei
  • Assistant Professor of Surgery

Research Interests

Small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs); Lung Disease & Respiratory Science; Tumorigenesis and Cancer Development; Biomarker/Predictors Identification for Diagnosis & Treatment Response; and Therapeutic Targets Discovery more


Dr. Yuping Mei’s primary research interest is to characterize the mechanisms underlying tumorigenesis and cancer development, identify non-invasive biomarkers for early detection & treatment response of cancers, discover therapeutic cancer targets, and translate bench findings into the clinic.

Dr. Mei earned her Ph.D. degree from Sun Yat-sen University, China. She completed her postgraduate training at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Mei was a Research Associate of Oncology & Diagnostic Sciences at the UMB.

She served as an Ad hoc member for Molecular Medicine Ph.D. Program at UMB. She is a current member of the editorial board for the Journal of Surgical Research, and a reviewer for several international peer-reviewed journals. more


  • Assistant Professor of Surgery

Departments / Divisions

  • Surgery - General Thoracic Surgery



  • Ph.D.; Sun Yat-sen University (China) (2005)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Mei is the first investigator who discovered and reported that Protein Functional Effector sncRNA (pfeRNA) is a type of novel functional sncRNAs. From its discovery to application, her contributions have developed mature methods for extraction, purification, measurement, and functional analysis of pfeRNA.

Dr. Mei’s long-term research goal is to discover non-invasive biomarker and therapeutic targets to improve the early detection and treatment of cancer patients. Specifically, her research team aims to define the role of pfeRNA on its target proteins in tumorigenesis and cancer development of lung cancer.

Another line of her research is understanding the functional effects of pfeRNA in immune pathways for patients treated with immunotherapy. Dr. Mer and her team are investigating the mechanistic link underlying PD-1/L1 axis and attempt to identify critical pfeRNAs as treatment predictors and therapeutic targets in selecting the optimal candidates in terms of efficacy and tolerance.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Liu W, Wang Y, Huang H, Fackche N, Rodgers K, Lee B, et al., Mei Y. A Cost-Effective and Non-Invasive pfeRNA-Based Test Differentiates Benign and Suspicious Pulmonary Nodules from Malignant Ones. Non-oding RNA 2021; 7: 80-93

Zhi H, Zhou J, et al., Mei Y, et al., Brock M. Epigenetic modifiers inhibit lung metastases by disrupting pre-metastatic niches. Nature 2020; 579: 284-290

Brock M, Mei Y. Protein functional effector sncRNAs (pfeRNAs) in lung cancer. Cancer Lett. 2017; 403:138-143

Gable T, Wang Y, Clark D, Kumari P, Shetty A, Mao L, Mei Y. A phosphorylation-wide sncRNA screen reveals Protein Functional Effector sncRNAs (pfeRNAs) in human lung somatic cells. Cancer Lett. 2017; 396: 85-93

Wang Y, Gable T, Ma M, Clark D, Zhao J, Zhang Y, Liu W, Mao L, Mei Y. A piRNA-like small RNA induces chemoresistance to cisplatin-based therapy by inhibiting apoptosis in lung squamous cell carcinoma. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids 2017; 6: 269-278

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