Li-En Jao

Li-En Jao

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, School of Medicine

4415 Tupper Hall (office)

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.

Grad Group Affiliations

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

Specialties / Focus

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


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


  • Jao lab (4411 and 4312 Tupper Hall)

Honors and Awards

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

    Professional Societies

    • The American Society for Cell Biology


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



    Condensation of pericentrin proteins in human cells illuminates phase separation in centrosome assembly.

    Jiang X, Ho DBT, Mahe K, Mia J, Sepulveda G, Antkowiak M, Yamada S, Jao LE

    bioRxiv. 2020. DOI:


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