Yi Lai, PhD


Muscular dystrophies are a group of muscle wasting diseases caused by gene mutations. Molecular therapies, including gene and protein therapy, provide a viable option for treatment of these diseases. The focus of our lab is to develop gene and protein therapies to treat muscular dystrophies and study the molecular mechanisms that determine the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophies. Our ultimate goal is to identify the effective treatment plans for muscular dystrophies by combining therapy development and mechanism investigation.

Academic Information

Associate Research Professor


M604C Medical Sciences Building
Columbia, MO 65212
United States

P. 573-882-6406

Research Interests

  • Gene therapy 
  • Protein therapy 
  • Muscular dystrophies  
  • Muscle atrophy 

Areas of Expertise

  • Virology and Molecular Therapies
  • Gene therapy
  • Muscular dystrophies
  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology

Education & Training

Medical School

2000, MD, PhD, West China University of Medical Sciences


Wasala, N. B., J. H. Shin, Lai Y, Y. Yue, F. Montanaro, and D. Duan.Cardiac-Specific Expression of ΔH2-R15 Mini-Dystrophin Normalized All Electrocardiogram Abnormalities and the End-Diastolic Volume in a 23-Month-Old Mouse Model of Duchenne Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Hum Gene Ther2018 Mar 22. 10.1089/hum.2017.144

Lai, Y., and Duan, D. Design of muscle gene therapy expression cassette. Muscle gene therapy. 2018.  (Edited by Duan, D.)

Patel, A., Zhao, J., Duan, D., and Lai, Y. (2018) Design of AAV vectors for delivery of large or multiple transgenes. Methods Mol Biol  2018. (Edited by Michael Castle)

Wasala N, Lai Y, Shin J, Zhao J, Yue Y and Duan D.Genomic removal of a therapeutic mini-dystrophin gene from adult mice elicits a Duchenne muscular dystrophy-like phenotype. Hum Mol Genet 201625: 2633-2644.

Zhao J, Kodippili K, Yue Y, Hakim C, Wasala L, Pan X, Zhang K, Yang N, Duan D* and Lai Y*.Dystrophin contains multiple independent membrane-binding domains. Hum Mol Genet 2016 25: 3647-3653 (* as the corresponding author).

Lai Y*, Zhao J, Yue Y, Wasala N and Duan D*. Partial restoration of cardiac function with ∆PDZ nNOS in aged mdx model of Duchenne cardiomyopathy. Hum Mol Genet2014 23:3189-3199.(* as the corresponding author)

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