Jiahui Wu

Assistant Professor

Research areas include protein and nucleic acid engineering.

Current Research

Dr. Wu's research lab is interested in exploring the fascinating world of RNA and leveraging our understanding to advance therapeutics. While over 75% of the human genome is actively transcribed into RNAs, less than 5% of these RNAs are used for coding proteins. Therefore, a major question arises: What are the functions of the RNAs that are not coding proteins? To answer this question, Dr. Wu's lab invents cutting-edge molecular tools to track when RNAs are being transcribed, how they are trafficked within cells, and what other biomolecules they encounter during their life cycle. Their goal is to decipher the functional roles of RNA in both health and disease.

As they gain more mechanistic insights into how the cell works, Dr. Wu's lab is also highly interested in leveraging these insights to develop functional molecules for therapeutic applications. They harness the power of molecular engineering to develop functional proteins and nucleic acids that modulate cellular processes and target disease-specific pathways, with a goal of advancing our discoveries into therapeutics.

Learn more at https://www.umass.edu/chemistry/faculty/jiahui-chris-wu

Academic Background

  • Postdoc, 2015-2020, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University

  • Ph.D., 2014, University of Alberta, Canada

  • B.Eng., 2009, Guangdong University of Technology, China

Z. Zhang, X. Rong, T. Xie, Z. Li, H. Song, S. Zhen, H. Wang, J. Wu, S.R. Jaffrey, X. Li, Fluorogenic CRISPR for genomic DNA imaging. Nature Communications 15 (1), 934 (2024).
Z. Chen, W. Chen, Z. Reheman, H. Jiang, J. Wu, X. Li, Genetically encoded RNA-based sensors with Pepper fluorogenic aptamer. Nucleic Acids Res. 51, 8322–8336 (2023).
B. S. VarnBuhler, J. Moon, S. K. Dey, J. Wu, S. R. Jaffrey, Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA Using a DNA Aptamer Mimic of Green Fluorescent Protein. ACS Chem. Biol. (2022), doi:10.1021/acschembio.1c00893.
J. Wu, N. Svensen, W. Song, H. Kim, S. Zhang, X. Li, S. R. Jaffrey, Self-Assembly of Intracellular Multivalent RNA Complexes Using Dimeric Corn and Beetroot Aptamers. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2022), doi:10.1021/jacs.1c13583.
J. Wu, S. Zaccara, D. Khuperkar, H. Kim, M. E. Tanenbaum, S. R. Jaffrey, Live imaging of mRNA using RNA-stabilized fluorogenic proteins. Nat. Methods. 16, 862–865 (2019).
Contact Info

Department of Chemistry
Life Science Laboratories S525
240 Thatcher Road
Amherst, MA 01003-9292

Email: jiahuiwu@umass.edu
Web: https://chriswulab.com/