University of Wisconsin
Thesis Topic: YY1 functions in B lymphocyte development
Xuan Pan’s thesis project focused on how transcription factor YY1 regulates B cell development. Her work focused on three inter-related projects. First, she worked on how elevated levels of YY1 promotes affects long-term hematopoietic stem cell development as well as apoptosis specifically in B cells. Xuan’s second project focused on how YY1 Polycomb Group (PcG) function influenced B cell development. For these studies, she performed bone marrow reconstitution studies in a YY1 conditional knock-out system using a YY1 mutant that removes the 25 amino acid REPO domain necessary for PcG function. These studies showed that YY1 PcG function is required for development past the pro-B cell stage. In Xuan’s third project she found that the YY1 REPO domain physically interacts with condensin and cohesin proteins and co-localizes with YY1 at various sites across the Ig kappa locus. These binding sites are believed to be involved in Ig locus contraction needed for rearrangement of distal V genes. She utilized both transgenic mouse and RNAi methods to study these mechanisms. Her work addresses key functions in B cell biology and development, and may also have clinical applications.
After graduating from the program, she and her husband moved to Michigan where she pursued a small animal clinical internship at Michigan State University. After completion of this program she took an oncology residency position at University of Wisconsin.