Andrew Yoo

 Andrew came to our lab after doing groundbreaking work in C. Elegans in Iva Greenwald’s laboratory.  He discovered a triple negative genetic circuit that controls the switching from the npBAF to nBAF complex.  Andrew showed that switch is initiated when miR9 and 124 repress BAF53a leading to the complete conversion of the chromatin remodeling complexes. During the course of these studies he found that recapitulating this switch in fibroblasts causes them to develop into neurons.  The microRNA/chromatin switch leads to the production of fully functional human neurons from fibroblasts that form synapses without the help of added rat or human neurons.  In addition, he showed that this mechanism of forming neurons leads to the production of inhibitory interneurons that form IPSP’s which has not been seen before for other means of making neurons.  His studies have shown for the first time that a chromatin switch can be part of instructive pathways for cell fate determination.  He joined the faculty of Washington University and can be reached at: yooa at