Head, Laboratory of Membrane Biology
Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute

Research Area

Our research focus is on developing a detailed molecular understanding of regulation of red cell production referred to as erythropoiesis. Erythropoiesis occurs in erythroid niches termed erythroblastic island (EBI) which is composed of a central macrophage surrounded by developing erythroid cells.

Our lab has developed methods to purify both human and mouse erythroid cells at distinct developmental stages and methods to quantify the progress of erythroid differentiation in vivo.  We have also developed methods to purify the EBI macrophages. Through RNA-seq analysis, the lab has constructed global transcriptomes of human and murine erythroid cells as well as EBI macrophages.

We are currently working on three main research areas: 1) regulation of erythropoiesis with  a focus on mechanisms for erythroblast enucleation; 2) the mechanisms by which EBI macrophages support normal erythropoiesis and the contribution of EBI macrophages to the pathogenesis of disordered erythropoiesis; 3) improving ex vivo red cell production from stem cells.


Funding Support

  • NIH P01 HL149626 An (PI, Project 4) 07/20/2020 – 06/30/2025 “Hemolysis and the Hematopoietic Niche”
  • NIH R056 HL165202 An, Zhong (Multi-PI) 09/13/2022-08/31/2023 “Transfusion-driven hyperhemolysis in sickle cell disease”

Education and Training

Postdoctoral Institute
Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA

Degree Institutions

PhD Biochemistry; Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Tokyo, Japan
MS Hematology; Henan Medical University, Zhengzhou, Henan , China
MD Medicine; Henan Medical University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China



Full List of Publications